SUNS

Jae Crowder won't attend Suns training camp as they've been trying to trade him

Duane Rankin
Arizona Republic
May 2, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder (99) reacts during action against the Dallas Mavericks during game one of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center.

Jae Crowder has seen his last days in Phoenix.

Sources informed The Republic the veteran forward won't attend training camp starting Tuesday as the Suns have been trying to trade him.

The Suns made an official announcement Sunday afternoon that Crowder won't participate in camp.

"The Phoenix Suns and forward Jae Crowder have mutually agreed that he will not be with the team for training camp," the Suns released in a statement.

Crowder essentially tweeted Sunday his goodbye to the Suns.

"ONE MUST SEEK WORK WHERE HE IS WANTED.. WHERE HE IS NEEDED.! I AM THANKFUL FOR WHAT THESE PAST 2 YRS HAVE TAUGHT ME.! NOW I MUST TAKE ON ANOTHER CHALLENGE WITH CONTINUED HARDWORK & DEDICATION.! FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO CLOSED THE DOOR ON ME…. THANK YOU! 99 BACK SOON.!"

Phoenix was in talks with the Utah Jazz to receive Bojan Bogdanovic, but couldn't agree to all the terms of the deal.

The Suns wanted Jarred Vanderbilt as well, but the Jazz weren't willing to part ways with the athletic, young energized forward they acquired from Minnesota in the blockbuster Rudy Gobert deal this summer.

Mar 23, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jarred Vanderbilt (8) shoots during warmups before the game against the Phoenix Suns at Target Center.

The Jazz later traded Bogdanovic to the Pistons for Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee. 

Crowder played for the Jazz before as he averaged 11.9 points on 39.6% shooting in two seasons (2017-19) in Utah.

The Suns signed Crowder to a three-year deal before the 2020-21 season. The veteran forward helped the Miami Heat reach the 2020 NBA Finals in the bubble. 

Crowder then joined the Suns as a free agent and played a pivotal role in Phoenix make it the 2021 finals. His lob inbounds pass to Deandre Ayton for the dunk with 0.7 seconds gave the Suns a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference finals. 

Phoenix followed that up with an historic 2021-22 season in which it won a franchise-best 64 games in the regular season in posting the NBA's top record. Crowder started all 80 games he played for the Suns counting the playoffs.

On Friday Crowder tweeted "99 WONT BE THERE" in reaction The Republic's story about training camp that addresses whether he or Cam Johnson will start this season for the Suns.

Crowder later deleted the tweet, but it was screen shot.

Sources informed The Republic the Suns were looking to start Johnson this season and have Crowder come off the bench.

The Suns are in discussions with Johnson on a rookie extension as the lottery pick in the 2019 draft is eligible for one going into his fourth season with the team.

Crowder, who turned 32 years old in July, turned with a tweet that can be interpreted as he was looking to play elsewhere this season.

"CHANGE IS INEVITABLE.. GROWTH IS OPTIONAL.!! I BELIEVE ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE… I WANNA CONTINUE GROWING.!"

Crowder averaged 9.7 points on 40.2% shooting in his two seasons with Phoenix.

Have opinion about current state of the Suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at dmrankin@gannett.com or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at @DuaneRankin.

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