The Atlanta Hawks return only seven players from last season’s roster heading into 2022-23, and more turnover could be on the way. Shams Charania of The Athletic stated Monday morning that the Hawks have been in talks with the Phoenix Suns about forward Jae Crowder in “recent weeks and months”.
Eastern Conference contender emerges as interested suitor for Suns' Jae Crowder: pic.twitter.com/oxw12tvnUt— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 10, 2022
Crowder has seemingly been squeezed out of Phoenix’s starting lineup by the emergence of Cam Johnson, so Atlanta may be trying to pry Crowder away in an effort to bolster their forward depth. The Suns are obviously looking to contend again this season, so it remains to be seen what kind of return they are looking for in a deal.
The Hawks do not have cap space, and just got under the luxury tax in recent weeks. A path to a Crowder deal before the start of the season may be tough to navigate, but it’s something to monitor nonetheless. A potential deal revolving around John Collins and Crowder doesn’t appear to make a ton of sense for Atlanta, as the dropoff from Collins to Crowder is quite significant. Theoretically the Suns could try to build a package around Crowder in an effort to acquire Collins but the Hawks’ interest level on such a deal should probably be little to none.
The Hawks could use Crowder’s ‘3-and-D’ skillset and ability to play both forward positions, though he’s more of a power forward at this point in his career. Whether a deal comes to a fruition in the near future or not is tough to gauge, but if Phoenix is motivated to move on from Crowder ahead of the regular season then something may fall into place.
Stay tuned as the preseason winds down towards opening night, which is next week, Weds. Oct. 19 at State Farm Arena vs. the Houston Rockets.