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Shams: Hawks, Bucks, Heat latest players in Crowder talks — what the trades could look like

The Phoenix Suns continue to wait for a really good deal in return for Jae Crowder.

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2021 NBA Finals - Game Six Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Tuesday morning, The Athletic’s Shams Charania updated readers on the Phoenix Suns / Jae Crowder trade talks, featuring three Eastern Conference playoff contenders:

“In addition to the Hawks, the Suns have recently been engaged in talks with the Bucks on a potential Jae Crowder trade, sources said. Milwaukee has registered interest in the veteran forward who has remained away from the Suns’ organization as both sides work toward a trade. Miami is also believed to be among the current suitors for Crowder, according to league sources.”

We already knew these three teams were involved, but the reporting from Charania shows the recent — and current, even — nature of these talks. So I’d like to put forth my dream scenario from each suitor:

Atlanta Hawks

This is where Crowder’s been spending his summer, and he’s there even now, getting marked “NWT”, or “not with team” for each Suns contest.

For this trade, I wanted some bench help, and I think I’ve found it in the form of never-once-a-Sun Bogdan Bogdanovic, whose draft rights were held by the Suns before they traded them for Marquese Chriss, a move that definitely, for sure aged well.

Dario Saric gets added in as salary filler, but he’s registered just two minutes on the court thus far this season for the Suns. Maybe a change of scenery gets him some more action, plus I’m sure Atlanta wouldn’t mind having another stretch forward/big who can add value in pick-and-pop scenarios with their two All-Star point guards at times.

The money math makes even more sense when you consider that Zach Lowe said in a podcast on Sep. 28 that he would be “absolutely blown away if Phoenix adds salary — net adds — in this trade” based on what he’s heard.

Milwaukee Bucks

This would feel weird to me. I’ll just put it that way. Trading one of the most important pieces to a Finals team away to the team that beat you in the Finals feels weird to me.

And I’ll even admit that I don’t think there’s a realistic outcome from Milwaukee’s roster since so many have weird contract situations like restrictions on when they can be traded (though most of that is null by January).

The one unfortunate situation that would work as of right now would be for noted annoyance Grayson Allen, infamous for tripping among other numerous happenstances.

In any case, Allen would help the bench on both ends and shoots the ball well — 40.9% on 5.9 threes per game last season — though he’s admittedly off to a cold start this year — 4-13 (30.8%) through two games.

Miami Heat

Here’s an opportunity to take advantage of the bevy of shooting on the Heat’s roster.

If Phoenix adds in Landry Shamet, coming off an excellent showing against the Clippers in game four, it could be enough trade juice to net you both Duncan Robinson and Max Strus. These are two bench shooters that would absolutely unlock the games of Cam Payne and Jock Landale, while keeping things easy for the starters when they’re involve don the second unit.

  • Robinson, 6-7 215, 28 years old: 752-1843 (40.8%) from deep over three seasons prior to this one (8.2 attempts per game)
  • Strus, 6-5 215, 26 years old: 189-459 (41.2%) from deep since becoming a member of Miami’s rotation last season (6.5 attempts per game)

I’m definitely experiencing second-hand fear for opposing defenses just imagining what a small ball, Point Book offensive lineup of Booker, Strus, Bridges, Robinson, and Johnson would look like.

It’s that — and many other lineup flexibility factors — that make me most excited about the Miami avenue, and I would rank the Atlanta option over Milwaukee, while we’re comparing.

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