The Toronto Raptors should be perusing the trade market right now, as it is never too early for Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster to be looking at every potential avenue with which they can improve this team. A Jae Crowder trade appears imminent, and Toronto would be wise to ask around about his availability.
Crowder hasn’t played yet for the Phoenix Suns despite the fact that he could contribute to a championship team. A trade seems inevitable, and Phoenix has been in contact with several Eastern Conference teams as they try to get adequate value for a player of his caliber.
Crowder is one of the more reasonable trade targets for Toronto, as Masai Ujiri could add a player that can fit right into their unique defensive scheme without comprising the integrity of said scheme. Unfortunately, the Raptors won’t be the only one with eyes on this prize.
Shams Charania is reporting that the Milwaukee Bucks have now engaged with the Suns on talks for Crowder, joining the Hawks and Heat in the sweepstakes. The Raptors would not only see a rival in the conference get much stronger, but they would miss out on the chance to add someone who would be a tremendous fit on the roster.
The Toronto Raptors must look into a Jae Crowder trade.
The absence of Otto Porter Jr. has underscored just how important 3-point shooting and bench quality will be for the Raptors as they try to make a push for a championship in the near future. Crowder and Porter have very similar styles of play, but Toronto clearly holds players like that in high regard.
Crowder has averaged 9.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while shooting 37% from 3-point range in his two campaigns with the Suns. A rock-solid defender and floor-spacer that can start and come off the bench, Crowder has made the playoffs in all but one season in the NBA.
Considering how Royce O’Neale was traded for a first-round pick in the offseason, it will be hard for Toronto to acquire Crowder and keep him away from their rivals without surrendering a pick or two. However, amid rumors that Ujiri could blow the roster up after this year if they disappoint, he’s clearly not tied to the current depth chart.
The thought of Milwaukee’s high-powered offense or Atlanta’s new-look attack adding Crowder could be nightmarish for Toronto. If they want to get into the Crowder sweepstakes, Ujiri will need to be the same aggressive trader he was last decade and give Phoenix what they’re looking for.