Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder tweeted and then quickly deleted on Friday that he won’t be at training camp.
Jae Crowder tweeted and deleted this. Doesn’t sound like he’s going to be at training camp pic.twitter.com/ztTAeh6qTo
—Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) September 24, 2022
Crowder quote tweeted a story from AZCentral’s Duane Rankin related to training camp, which begins on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old Crowder has used social media here and there this offseason to be cryptic about his future in Phoenix. He liked an image on Twitter of him playing for the Dallas Mavericks, liked a tweet from a Miami Heat reporter calling Crowder a possible Heat trade target and pinned an Instagram comment from a Heat fan telling the franchise that fans want Crowder back in Miami.
Crowder is in the final season of this three-year contract he signed with the Suns prior to the 2020-21 season.
It is not clear what has led to Crowder being unsettled.
The veteran might perhaps be seeking a contract extension, or it might be a disagreement over his spot in the starting lineup, one forward Cam Johnson certainly has a chance at taking this upcoming season. Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported back in late June that Crowder’s name had been discussed on the trade market, and on Friday, Gambadoro noted that Crowder was part of discussions with the Utah Jazz over Bojan Bogdanovic.
Crowder also tweeted this in August:
CHANGE IS INEVITABLE.. GROWTH IS OPTIONAL.!! I BELIEVE ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE… I WANNA CONTINUE GROWING.!
—JAE CROWDER (@CJC9BOSS) August 1, 2022
Regardless of the why, Crowder has been a crucial part of the Suns’ rise the last two years. In his pair of seasons with Phoenix, Crowder has averaged 9.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 40.2% from the field and 36.9% at 3-point range.
Even though the numbers don’t emphasize Crowder’s importance, the eye test does.
His veteran know-how has been pivotal to the Suns turning into one of the NBA’s best defensive teams each of the last two seasons. Phoenix was sixth in defensive rating two seasons ago and jumped to third last year. Offensively, Crowder has always fit in seamlessly as a smart ball-mover and an experienced wing that makes the right decisions when put in a position to make the defense pay.
Media day for the Suns is Monday, and one of the several storylines entering the day will be if Crowder is even there.