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Jae Crowder is ‘very confused’ about why he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks

Jae Crowder Bucks

Jae Crowder Bucks
(AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

Jae Crowder is ‘very confused’ about why he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks

Nearly three months ago, hours ahead of the 2022-23 NBA Trade deadline, the Brooklyn Nets traded veteran forward Jae Crowder to the Milwaukee Bucks for not one, not two … but five second-round picks after Crowder was previously dealt to Brooklyn from Phoenix in the Kevin Durant blockbuster.

While he was effective off the bench, Crowder’s role slowly, but surely, diminished — especially as the playoffs arrived. In lieu of getting bounced against Miami, Crowder’s now questioning why he was traded there in the first place.

“I’ve never been in a situation like that,” he said, per the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel‘s Jim Owczarski. Eleven years. Check my résumé. I’ve been playing. I’ve always been playing. I’m very confused as to why I was brought here. I don’t know my purpose here and why I was brought here.”

The top-seeded Bucks surprisingly got blasted in its opening-round matchup against the Heat, who also beat Milwaukee in five games in 2019-20 when Crowder was with Miami. Though the veteran wing only played 41 minutes this series, totaling seven points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals on 3-of-13 shooting. The 32-year-old did not play in Game 4 while only playing 18 seconds in the series-clinching Game 5.

Similarly to his stints with the Suns, Heat, Memphis Grizzlies, Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, Crowder was expected to bring a sizable role as a 3-and-D wing. But he did not. In 18 games, he posted 6.9 points and 3.8 rebounds on 47.9 percent shooting and 43.6 percent from 3-point range.

Crowder didn’t suit up for Phoenix in 2022-23 after the two sides mutually agreed for the forward to not be with the team heading into the season. He was in the final year of a three-year, $29 million deal that he signed in Phoenix before the 2020-21 season, so he will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

It’s fair to say Crowder will likely not garner a mid-level-type deal (projected $12.2M), but perhaps a team under the second-tax apron would be willing to offer him the full taxpayer midlevel (projected $5M) for wing depth. By now, we can assume he won’t re-sign in Milwaukee, but I don’t think Crowder will be short for suitors on the open market.

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