Phoenix Suns: Jae Crowder’s trade request reasoning becomes clearer

Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

Jae Crowder’s trade request from the Phoenix Suns became official over the weekend, effectively ending his two-year stay in The Valley.

But given the Suns and Crowder’s relative success over the past two seasons, there was always going to be speculation and question marks surrounding his desire to leave the franchise. Now, as the Suns media day took place on Monday, we have a clearer picture of his potential reasoning.

A lack of contract extension and starting role are cited as the reported main factors in Jae Crowder’s wish to leave the Phoenix Suns.

Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported on Monday that Crowder wanted an extension that the Suns were unwilling to give, and that he wouldn’t be a part of the team’s starting or closing five.

These details certainly marry up with Crowder’s own comments from Sunday, with the 32-year-old stating “one must seek work where he is wanted” while also remaining ‘thankful’ for the last two years.

This feels like a situation where both the player and franchise have valid reasons for parting ways. Crowder is 32, still believes he’s a starting caliber player, and wants one more major deal in accordance with that. The issue is Phoenix have Cameron Johnson waiting in the wings, and given he too is eligible for a contract extension, the prioritization of keeping players happy has to lay with him over Crowder.

Could both sides have managed this entire situation better? Probably. But that can’t be truly evaluated till later down the line when we have greater clarity and perspective. Phoenix’s unwillingness to give Crowder an extension may be the only gripe that fans have, because doing it would have provided them greater bargaining power and leverage in a trade scenario.

Next. Phoenix Suns: 3 trade options for Jae Crowder post trade request. dark

Instead, they’re left in a compromised position with a player who’ll provide no on-court value, and who’ll garner little in exchange given some teams may view him as simply a one season rental.