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Matthew Morris Matthew Morris BVM Sports Journalist
Trade dust settles for Jae Crowder: ‘99 back’ with the Bucks

Trade dust settles for Jae Crowder: ‘99 back’ with the Bucks

MILWAUKEE (BVM) – Since Jae Crowder began working with the Phoenix Suns to find a new home for him via trade during the offseason, the Milwaukee Bucks have been one of the top candidates to land him. However, it appeared that the Suns asking price was too high for the Bucks but when Crowder was traded to the Brooklyn Nets as a part of the Kevin Durant trade, Milwaukee got involved again. 

The Bucks are sending two secondround picks to the Nets as well as Jordan Nwora, George Hill, Serge Ibaka and three second-round picks to the Indiana Pacers in a three-team trade that brings Crowder to Milwaukee. The Marquette alum is returning to the 414. 

Crowder was a key role player for both the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns during their NBA Finals runs. He is excellent on defense, being able to guard multiple positions and the opponent’s best player. On offense, he is a capable three-point shooter. In 2021 with the Suns, he averaged 10.8 points and shot 38% from three during the postseason. 

Last postseason, the Bucks faltered against the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs. Khris Middleton was out due to injury and the loss of his offense, and in particular his outside shooting, began to affect Milwaukee. The Bucks shooters began to go cold and as Boston heated up as a team, Milwaukee only shot 32.7% during the playoffs last season. 

Crowder should help with the outside shooting the Bucks need during the playoffs to make defenses pay for closing in on Giannis Antetokounmpo. The other thing Crowder will bring is that defensive specialist role that P.J. Tucker played during Milwaukee’s championship run in 2021. Tucker had been traded to the Bucks from the Rockets that season and although he did not play much during the regular season, he became extremely important during the postseason because of his ability to guard multiple positions. 

Crowder can do the same thing and allows the Bucks to put Antetokounmpo at center and run with a small lineup. He also joins a Bucks defense that is already one of the best in the league, anchored by Brook Lopez and Antetokounmpo in the paint with Jrue Holiday, Wesley Matthews and Jevon Carter on the perimeter. 

The 13-year NBA veteran hasn’t played this season so he does need to get back into playing form, but the Bucks didn’t get him for the regular season. Crowder is also going to be playing for a contract since he turned down the offers Phoenix had given him. 

Overall, this is a great move for a Bucks team that is currently second in the Eastern Conference and looks to be gearing up for a rematch with Boston in the playoffs. He’s familiar with Milwaukee from his time at Marquette, he’s familiar with the postseason and the Bucks are hoping this time, Crowder is on a team that wins the NBA Finals rather than just making it to one.

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