Phoenix Suns: How a deal could look after Bucks linked to Crowder

Jae Crowder could be on the verge of joining the team that beat the Phoenix Suns in the 2021 NBA Finals, with the Milwaukee Bucks reportedly interested in trading for the veteran forward.

The 32-year-old continues to be away from the Suns as the two sides work on a trade deal, but time is running out if Phoenix wish to secure a viable replacement ahead of the regular season.

The Milwaukee Bucks have only one applicable trading piece should they wish to orchestrate a trade with the Phoenix Suns for Jae Crowder.

The Bucks clearly have interest in acquiring an experienced forward, particularly one who’s an adept three-point shooter and can help space the floor for Giannis Antetokounmpo. While Crowder is a streaky perimeter shooter, his defense could certainly aid a surprisingly average defense last regular season.

Like many of the teams vying for Crowder, who also double as championship contenders, Milwaukee are in the luxury tax with a top-ended roster built around Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday.

Most of the players on similar money to Crowder’s $10.1 million expiring deal were recently signed in free agency, making this a similar situation to Miami where a deal wouldn’t get done until mid-season.

Fortunately for the Bucks, they do have one player who makes sense in this deal, and whom Phoenix may covet enough to warrant the trade. Grayson Allen is beginning the first of a two-year, $18.7 million contract, one he signed when traded to the Bucks last offseason. This makes him eligible to be traded right now should the two sides agree.

Allen has built a sketchy reputation for himself across the league, most recently for a dirty play that left Chicago’s Alex Caruso with a fractured wrist. Move beyond that and he’s a valuable NBA player, even if his defense was shown up at times during the playoffs.

The 27-year-old has developed into a knockdown three-point shooter, nailing 40%, 39% and 41% of his perimeter shots across the last three seasons. He won’t provide a whole lot more than that, though that still makes him a reasonable replacement for Crowder.

The salaries make a straight player-for-player trade work, but the Suns should expect at least a second-round pick from the Bucks if a deal were to go through. As for dealing Crowder to a title contender in Milwaukee, the Suns could at least rest easy knowing they wouldn’t face him in the postseason until a potential Finals reunion.