Is Crowder Milwaukee’s Necessary Needle-Mover?


The Milwaukee Bucks have been linked as potential trade suitors for Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder.

The news comes after Crowder and the Suns agreed to allow the 32-year-old to sit out training camp as Phoenix attempts to work out a trade.

At the Bucks’ media day, GM Jon Horst talked about the team liking versatile skillsets. Crowder would provide the Bucks with exactly that, particularly defensively.

Why trading for Crowder makes sense for Bucks

Crowder averaged 9.4 and 5.3 rebounds per game on 39.9% shooting and 34.8% from three last season. The real strength he would bring, however, is his defensive versatility.

The 6-foot-6, 235-pound forward is a hard-nosed, big-bodied and switchable pest. He is a younger version of PJ Tucker who can make 3s — from more than just the corner — and defend power forwards and wings. The NBA journeyman is very strong and could give the Bucks a solid rotational guy who doesn’t need many shots and will defend his tail off. Tucker proved to be a phenomenal role player for the Bucks, but Crowder could do that at an even-higher level.

A trade for Crowder would bring him back to Milwaukee, as Crowder played collegiately at Marquette.

What would it take to get him?

A simple straight up trade of Grayson Allen for Crowder could work. Allen and Crowder are different players, but Allen would maintain a scoring punch off Phoenix’s bench. Some will point to Allen’s struggles vs. Boston in the NBA Playoffs last year, but nearly every role player struggled in that series.

This isn’t a “must move” for Milwaukee, but it would be a win in the long run.

Crowder a move for June

Is Jae Crowder a significant improvement over Grayson Allen? Not really.

But he is a different type of player. Crowder isn’t going to score 20 points too often. He is, however, going to be able to switch and guard players at multiple positions. As we saw with PJ Tucker, that toughness and defensive versatility are two things that benefit any team, especially the Bucks and particularly in the postseason.

A move for Crowder wouldn’t necessarily be overly beneficial in the regular season. Come playoff time, though, it could be the type of addition that will help the Bucks raise another NBA Championship.


About Mitchell Skurzewski

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