Crowder, who has not played for the Suns in the 2022-23 campaign as the two sides look for a trade, is in the final year of his contract.
“According to someone who has spoken to the Heat’s front office, the Heat remains interested in Jae Crowder, but only in a buyout situation, barring Phoenix shockingly taking a bad contract off Miami’s hands,” the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson wrote.
It makes sense that the Heat aren’t willing to move major assets for Crowder, especially since there’s no guarantee that he’d be with the team beyond this season.
The Heat, who are currently the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, could use some depth at the forward position. The team lost P.J. Tucker in free agency this past offseason, and it has dealt with injuries across the roster that contributed to a slow start to the 2022-23 campaign.
Caleb Martin, who has filled in admirably to mitigate the loss of Tucker, has been dealing with a quad injury as of late.
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.
A solid defender with a ton of playoff experience, Crowder was a key player for Miami in the 2019-20 season when the team made the NBA Finals.
Crowder appeared in 20 regular season games for the squad that season, and he shot the ball at an extremely efficient rate from beyond the arc. Over those 20 games, 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 veteran forward’s familiarity with Miami’s system would be a plus, but it’s unclear if the Suns would be willing to agree to a buyout with him.
The Heat can hope that Phoenix trades Crowder to another team that decides to buy him out, but that seems unlikely. It’s hard to see a team making a move for Crowder unless it is a contender.
The Heat could be an active team in the buyout market regardless as they look to improve their roster for another deep playoff run this season.