Report: Miami Heat officials have expressed confidence that team is Jae Crowder’s preferred destination

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Although veteran forward Jae Crowder isn’t exactly a superstar, he is seemingly one of the best players available via trade right now.

The Miami Heat have been linked to Crowder recently, and according to a new report, Heat officials have expressed confidence that Miami is where he wants to end up.

“Heat officials have even expressed confidence Miami is Crowder’s preferred destination,” wrote Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports. “By all accounts, Crowder didn’t want to leave Miami after he contributed to the Heat’s 2020 Eastern Conference championship, but Miami balked at the three-for-30 number Crowder was seeking then, just as he purportedly is now. So, why not wait to see if Crowder ultimately finds a buyout, in Phoenix or elsewhere, and flocks back to South Beach with open arms?”

Crowder is currently a member of the Phoenix Suns, but he’s away from the team right now as the organization looks to trade him away. The 32-year-old has played for seven teams during his NBA career, and he spent time with the Heat during the 2019-20 season.

Of course, that was a special season for Miami, as the team put together an unforgettable run to reach the NBA Finals in the Orlando, Fla. bubble. The squad came up two victories short of winning that season’s title.

Crowder played a major role along the way. In 20 games with the Heat in the 2019-20 regular season, he averaged 11.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and a ridiculous 44.5 percent from deep.

In the playoffs, his shooting cooled off, but he still averaged 12.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest while starting 21 games.

There are some obstacles standing in the way of a potential Heat trade for Crowder, specifically the issue of matching his salary. That seems to be part of why Fischer mentioned the idea of Crowder landing with Miami after a potential buyout elsewhere.

Crowder’s passion and energy make him a fun player to root for, and he also brings a lot to the table as a veteran voice. Moreover, he has tons of playoff experience under his belt and has experienced the NBA Finals multiple times. If he were to land with the Heat, he’d be able to handle the pressure of a potential playoff run.

Last season for the Suns, 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 3-point range. He’d presumably love to land with a contending team, as he’s still looking for his first NBA title.

The Heat will open their 2022-23 season in exactly one week, as they’ll host the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 19 to get things going. Time will tell if Crowder finds himself wearing a Heat uniform at some point this season.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and has plenty of memories involving the Miami Heat. He expects there will be winning basketball in South Florida for years to come.