As Suns training camp continues, a recent veteran acquisition is seemingly not around.
Jae Crowder, who signed a three-year, $29.1 million deal with the Suns last month, has not been made available in a virtual press conference with local reporters, and has not factored into players’ comments since the start of workouts.
On Monday night after practice, head coach Monty Williams was asked about Crowder’s status and said: “I can’t comment on Jae’s situation right now, I’m just going to leave it at that.”
Just before answering, Williams glanced out of his Zoom frame toward perhaps a Suns PR official or someone in the front office, seemingly seeking to clarify what the official line was on Crowder.
This has all led some to wonder whether complications with the COVID protocols, or infection with the virus itself, have prevented Crowder from coming to Phoenix or joining the team. At this time, the team has not announced Crowder’s status, and I have been unable to gain further insight.
While Crowder did a radio interview with Arizona Sports last week, he has not done any other media before or since.
The Suns, unlike some other NBA teams, are not sending out video footage of practice as a substitute for live coverage by reporters. That means we don’t see who is out on the floor and who is not during camp.
Of course, there is reason for privacy during a time like this and the media is not owed a specific explanation about a player’s health. However, the awkwardness this situation creates may blow things out of proportion even worse, with Crowder not able to speak for himself and the team refusing comment.