Report: Miami Heat could target Paul Millsap, Aron Baynes if Jae Crowder signs elsewhere

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While the Miami Heat would like to retain forward Jae Crowder, a new report indicates that the team could target veterans such as the Denver Nuggets’ Paul Millsap and Phoenix Suns’ Aron Baynes if Crowder moves on to another squad this offseason.

Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel wrote that there will surely be multiyear offers for Crowder this offseason. As the Heat look to hold onto as much cap space as possible for the 2021 free agent class, Winderman identified a few big men who could serve as one-year rentals in Crowder’s stead.

“For example, if retaining Crowder becomes an issue, there are viable Plan Bs out there,” Winderman wrote. “One, for example, could be Paul Millsap, if the 35-year-old veteran gets squeezed out by the Nuggets going all-in with Jerami Grant’s free agency and the preference to develop Michal Porter Jr.

“Similarly, the Suns’ refurbishment could leave Aron Baynes potentially there for the taking as a one-year stopgap.”

Crowder joined the Heat as part of the three-team trade in February with Memphis and Minnesota that also brought Andre Iguodala to the Heat.

One of the reasons that Crowder may consider staying with the Heat is based on stability, considering that he’s played with four different teams over the past three seasons.

Millsap put up similar statistics to Crowder during the 2019-20 campaign, averaging 11.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game in his third season with the Nuggets. However, he just completed his 14th NBA season and turns 36 in February.

Baynes, who turns 34 in December, also had numbers that mirror what Crowder produced this past year, with Baynes averaging 11.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game during his first year with the Suns.

Crowder averaged 11.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game in 20 regular season contests with the Heat.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.