Crowder is entering the final season of a three-year deal that he signed with Phoenix.
“The Heat would be open to a trade involving Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder, according to two sources, but salary cap rules make a deal difficult at this time,” the Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang and Barry Jackson wrote.
The Heat are very familiar with Crowder, as he was a key contributor in the team’s run to the NBA Finals in the 2019-20 season. Crowder appeared in 20 regular season games for the team during the 2019-20 campaign.
Over that stretch, Crowder shot 48.2 percent from the field and 44.5 percent from 3-point range while averaging 11.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
The Heat lost forward P.J. Tucker in free agency this offseason, and Crowder could be a perfect player to replace him in the rotation. Obviously, the Heat would need to be able to make a trade to acquire Crowder and send matching salary back to the Suns.
Last season for Phoenix, Crowder averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc. He is a plus defender that would help Miami against team’s with All-NBA caliber forwards such as those on the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets.
The Heat made the Eastern Conference Finals last season, but they fell short of the NBA Finals, losing to Boston in seven games.
Crowder is a proven veteran that could help the Heat get over the hump in the 2022-23 campaign if they can work a deal for him with the Suns.