The Hawks were recently rumored to be a trade destination for Jae Crowder, and Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports added that the veteran prefers to go to Miami or Atlanta, but neither destination is likely right now because the Suns want players that can help them win now, not just picks. Fischer also outlined a potential trade package surrounding Crowder, Bogdan Bogdanovic and others.
Along with Miami, inquiring teams have been told Atlanta is Crowder’s other preferred landing spot. While the Hawks have made calls about injured wing Bogdan Bogdanovic, a potential framework of Crowder and Landry Shamet for Bogdanovic has made the rounds among front-office personnel, although one source with knowledge of the situation claimed Shamet is not part of any active Suns conversations with Atlanta. The Hawks and Suns have had dialogue on Crowder throughout the summer.
Several league executives wondered whether the Hawks would be willing to part with De’Andre Hunter amid his ongoing extension conversations with Atlanta, but Crowder alone would seem far too little compensation for the Hawks to consider. The Hawks told rival teams Hunter was unavailable for trade this summer.
Perhaps there’s a three-team framework with Atlanta in which the Hawks could send a young player and salary, such as Justin Holiday to Phoenix, which the Suns could re-route and obtain a different player on their wish list. Rockets forward K.J. Martin, another forward known to have interest in playing elsewhere, is one player the Suns have held ongoing talks about obtaining, sources said. Portland and Miami are two other known teams with interest in Martin.
Crowder is a 10-year veteran who has been known as a 3-and-D wing, averaging 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 67 games for the Suns last year. His veteran presence would be a welcome addition to the Hawks, who are still a very young and relatively inexperienced team. After acquiring Dejounte Murray this offseason, expectations in Atlanta are high, with anything less than a deep playoff run being a disappointment.
Shamet isn’t anything to scoff at but certainly doesn’t move the needle. More than anything, it would be to match the contract of Bogi. Last year, Shamet averaged 8.3 points on .394/.368/.840 shooting splits, which were some of the least efficient numbers of his career. I wouldn’t be mad at that trade, especially considering Bogdanovic’s struggles to stay on the court since joining the Hawks. If he’s healthy, and that’s a big if, I’d take Bogi over Crowder and Shamet.
However, no trade the Suns could offer surrounding Crowder is worth De’Andre Hunter. It feels like he’s on the cusp of putting it all together this year, coming off the first healthy offseason of his career. The Virginia product has flashed, but injuries and inconsistencies have held him back. Look no further than his performance against the Heat in the first round of last year’s postseason; that is who Hunter can be. And that is far too enticing to trade away for a one-year rental of Jae Crowder.
Photographer: Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire