The addition of Jae Crowder to the Phoenix Suns does more than add depth to the Suns lineup. It does more than create toughness in the locker room and on the court. It does more than fortify a culture of physicality.
It signifies that the Suns are now a destination for players.
It had been rumored when Jae Crowder chose to sign with the Suns in free-agency that he did so with other suitors on the table.
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
Crowder joined Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7FM on Tuesday, sharing his reasoning for joining the Phoenix Suns.
“I chose [Phoenix] because I just envisioned a bigger role for myself on this team,” Crowder said. “When I sat back and I thought about it, obviously, Dallas is a place where they drafted me. I will always have love for Dallas.”
“I envisioned myself coming over here and helping these guys,” he added. “I can’t tell you why, I just, whenever I sat back and took both phone calls and I hung up both phone calls I envisioned myself here in Phoenix over Dallas.”
When John Gambadoro questioned Crowder about leaving “a couple million on the table,” Crowder responded with, “Yeah, I did”.
Crowder said he wasn't able to envision himself as a long-term fit in the other teams he was hearing from in free agency. Crowder confirms it was Dallas offering him more money.— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) December 1, 2020
The interview continued.
“I’m okay with the money, I’m okay with that part,” Crowder stated. “I just wanted to build something. I just wanted to be a part of something special. I felt like, you look at a team that has not been to the playoffs in 11 years, I want to be a part of the reason why we got back onto the winning side. It’s a greatest task here, it’s obviously a harder task here and I just want to buckle down and be a part of something special here.”
If it was possible to win over a fanbase and radio show in one interview that was it— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) December 1, 2020
It has been a rough couple of weeks for the Suns reputation. The Suns front office once again did not shine as it parted ways with players. Both Ricky Rubio and Kelly Oubre left with not-so-kind words as it pertains to how they were informed of their being traded.
Hearing a player state that they are interested in contributing to getting this team into the playoffs, especially considering their history with a different organization, is a breath of fresh air. Crowder’s willingness to turn down money and a city his familiar with bodes well for the Suns moving forward.
If the Suns have the ability to be considered a quality organization, quality players will follow. A new workout facility, and upgraded arena, a welcoming culture; all of these are contributing factors. All that is left to draw players to the Valley is winning.
That is what Jae Crowder wants to bring and wants to be a part of, even if it comes at a discounted rate.