Patience comes to those who wait.
Although it was just over 16 hours after the free agency “legal tampering” period began, Suns fans were becoming ancy. Was James Jones going to make a move? Why hadn’t he? James, were you awake?!
James Jones waking up realizing all the good free agents are gone: pic.twitter.com/ldz5Ht8T9Y— 5 Fouls Book (@PrimeDBook) November 21, 2020
Suns faithful had their eyes on the likes of Christian Wood, Jerami Grant, Davis Bertans, Danilo Gallinari, Jordan Clarkson, and many, many more. Yet the frenzy that was ‘Free Agency Friday’ came and went without Suns GM making any signings. It was like the Suns were standing in a dirt playground waiting to be picked for a dodgeball game, only to realize that we didn’t possess the reputation to be selected.
That changed on Saturday when the announcement came down Phoenix had inked a deal with 6’6” forward Jae Crowder:
Free agent Jae Crowder has agreed to a three-year deal with the Phoenix Suns, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 21, 2020
The addition of Crowder will address the Suns’ need to add depth at the wing positions following the trade of Kelly Oubre, Jr. this past Monday. Crowder brings with him 8 years of experience, which includes a trip to the NBA Finals just a month ago.
The initial reaction is that of positivity and excitement:
Knew the Suns had a legitimate chance to land Crowder late last night! Suns had competition for his services so did the 3rd year. Not sure about any options on 3rd year yet but this is a really good move to replace Oubre's roll and toughnes! pic.twitter.com/vgR1PlK1v1— FLEX From Jersey (@cruzfe13) November 21, 2020
Suns have a mix of toughness, athleticism and high-end skills no one is going to want to see in the playoffs.— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) November 21, 2020
Suns beat out three teams, one of which was Dallas, to sign Crowder to three year deal. Phoenix still hopes to bring back Dario Saric.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) November 21, 2020
Knowing that the Dallas Mavericks desired his services makes the acquisition that much more sweet. A team that the Suns will be fighting for playoff positioning against lost the bidding war to acquire him. He chose to come to Phoenix, to be a part of this organization, and compete for a championship.
The Marquette University product is a 3-and-D wing that is coming off of one of his best seasons. Starting the 2019-20 season with the Memphis Grizzlies, Crowder ended with the Heat. In 20 games in Miami, he averaged 11.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game, all on 44.5% shooting from deep and 48.2% shooting overall.
The 30 year-old is one of the most versatile wing defenders in the league due to his size and strength, having the ability to guard the post as well as the perimeter. His offensive can be spotty and inconsistent at times, but as an overall addition, he meets the needs of James Jones’ roster.
Welcome to The Valley, Jae Crowder. It appears that Hamed Haddadi will no longer stake claim to the highest jersey number worn in Suns history as Crowder has worn the number 99 for the past 6 seasons across 5 franchises.