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Stein: Wizards offered Rui Hachimura for Jae Crowder recently

Reportedly, the Suns turned it down because they want a starting-quality player in return

Phoenix Suns v Washington Wizards Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

You’re looking for trade rumors about the Phoenix Suns, so here’s a new one for you.

While the Suns are looking for a starting quality player in return for starting-quality Jae Crowder, the Wizards are trying to low-ball the Suns.

According to long time league insider Marc Stein, the Wizards offered Rui Hachimura for Crowder.

Yet league sources say that the Wizards recently pursued Crowder with a deal structure (believed to feature Rui Hachimura) that the Suns rebuffed. Phoenix is said to be holding out for a certifiable starter in a Crowder deal.

Of course, as of Wednesday, Phoenix also has new ownership incoming after the announcement that a group led by former Michigan State guard Mat Ishbia has reached an agreement to buy the team from Robert Sarver for a reported $4 billion. The entire NBA awaits clues for how that will affect the Suns’ trade deadline dealings after several months already of Crowder Watch.

You may want Kyle Kuzma for Jae Crowder, Suns fans, which happens to roughly fit in the trade machine but would be a serious step down for the Wizards.

Apparently, the Wizards either think a LOT less of Crowder than we do, or they’re simply trying to lowball the Suns.

The Suns did not bite, and now you can see why James Jones has not yet made a trade. No one is offering good value at this point.

Hachimura was originally taken with the 9th pick in the 2019 draft, two slots ahead of Cameron Johnson. Despite already being 21 years old, he was seen as a developmental pick with high upside.

The upside has not materialized. And he’s been injured a lot. Hachimura has not played in more than 58 games in any of his first three seasons.

He started in each of his first two years, when healthy, but then lost his starting role last year and comes off the bench, when healthy. This year, he’s appeared in 16 games, averaging basically 11 points and 5 rebounds. He doesn’t shoot well from distance (33% this year, 34% career on low volume) and doesn’t get to the line much (1.8 per game this year). He doesn’t pass much either. Profiles like a Kelly Oubre Jr., actually. Or Torrey Craig.

Stay tuned for more rumors, but hold your breath quite yet. Good deals won’t come together until late January.

And even then, if you’re looking for a major upgrade, someone who’s a new No. 2 to Devin Booker’s No. 1, it’s gonna be tough to get that in the middle of the season.

There’s only been a few big trades that swung a title race. Like, ever. The Pistons got Rasheed Wallace in 2004, a move that helped them win a title. The Lakers got All-Star Pau Gasol in 2008, who helped them make three straight Finals and win two titles. All-Star DeMarcus Cousins went to the Pelicans to play alongside Anthony Davis in 2017, and it only cost the Pels Buddy Hield, but didn’t end up helping the Pelicans in any way. That’s three big deals in almost 20 years.

Sometimes smaller, but impactful deals, can be the real winners.

Let’s just recap last year...

  • the Nets and 76ers swapped All-Stars in James Harden and Ben Simmons. That didn’t end up getting either team any further in the playoffs
  • the Mavericks sent former All-Star Kristaps Porzingis to Washington for Spencer Dinwiddie, a move that looked at the time like it would hurt Dallas. Ultimately, it helped Dallas make the Western Conference Finals as Dinwiddie had the series of his life against the Suns.

Now to the good one:

  • the Celtics acquired Derrick White from the distressed Spurs for a 2022 first round pick and a 2028 first round pick, both very lightly protected. The 2022 pick ended up being the 25th pick (Blake Wesley). The 2028 pick is only Top-1 protected. White was a key cog for the Celtics in their Finals run.

The Suns made two trades as well last year at the deadline, acquiring Torrey Craig and Aaron Holiday for Jalen Smith and cash, respectively. Neither trade worked out well for the Suns.

Holiday was acquired mainly to bridge the gap while Chris Paul and Cam Payne were both injured for a few weeks, then benched when they got back. Craig was bad in the 2022 playoff run, but has been really good this year. He’s been a quality starter in place of Crowder/Johnson and basically reprised Jae Crowder’s entire contribution (same points, rebounds, %, everything). Meanwhile, Jalen Smith got a new deal in Indiana and a starting spot, but has recently lost it and now comes off their bench. Even a year later, Smith doesn’t fit any better on the Suns now than he did then.

James Jones needs to aim a LOT higher than Craig/Holiday this year. That rumored Rui deal doesn’t cut it.

Wait out the market and get something good James.


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