Report: Lakers being linked to Jae Crowder among 4 other suitors

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly have been linked to Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder in the trade market.

Phoenix has been discussing deals for Crowder, who has not played for the team in the 2022-23 season.

“Phoenix was close to sending him to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-way deal with the [Houston] Rockets,” Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus wrote. “Talks extended to include the [Golden State] Warriors, but nothing came of it. Other teams believed to be interested include the [Miami] Heat, [Atlanta] Hawks and Lakers.”

Last season for Phoenix, Crowder averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc. He is a plus defender that would improve the Lakers’ depth at the wing position.

Los Angeles has been looking for improved shooting around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and Crowder would fit that mold. He is a career 34.6 percent shooter from beyond the arc.

It’s unclear what the Suns would command from the Lakers in a deal, but the team does have expiring contracts such as Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn that it could use.

It’s hard to see the Lakers even considering moving off of a first-round pick in exchange for Crowder, especially since he’s in the final season of his deal.

The Lakers got off to a slow start in the 2022-23 season, but they have turned things around as of late, winning nine of their last 15 games.

The team made a major overhaul to the roster in the offseason, moving off of veteran players such as Wayne Ellington, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and others and deciding to sign younger players in free agency.

Some of those additions, such as wing Lonnie Walker IV, have worked out nicely for the team early in the season.

However, the Lakers clearly are still looking to upgrade the roster. They are outside of the playoff picture in the West right now, holding onto the No. 12 spot in the conference.

Crowder is a proven player that would bring more NBA Finals experience to the Lakers. He played against the Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals as a member of the Miami Heat, and he was on the Suns team that made the Finals in the 2020-21 season.

It seems like Phoenix will deal Crowder eventually, especially since he hasn’t played for the team all season. It makes more sense to move off of him, even for a discounted price, than eat his contract for the entire 2022-23 campaign.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.