NBA Rumors: Jae Crowder Has Unexpected New Suitor in Eastern Conference

We've long been hearing that the Milwaukee Bucks are a prime suitor for holdout power forward Jae Crowder, and that the Miami Heat are another of his preferred destinations. They are still the two leading contenders. But now we get word of an unexpected new team to enter the fray. 

The Washington Wizards have talked with the Phoenix Suns about a possible Crowder deal, as related today by ESPN NBA Insider Brian Windhorst on his Hoops Collective podcast.  

There's been some chatter about them looking at a guy like Jae Crowder. I'm pretty confident there's been some discussions between the Wizards and the Suns.

And the reason the Wiz have been able to enter the Crowder talks is the fact that they have a number of rotation pieces that earn the sort of money that could make for a salary match. 

"We've been talking about Jae Crowder now for about two months," explained Windhorst. "It's obvious it's a hard trade to pull off. The Wizards have a bunch of guys who make decent salaries on their roster they can use in a trade."

Add to that the fact that the Wiz are proving themselves a team to be reckoned with in the East, and they're looking to add a piece to push them into a playoff position. 

"Don't look now, but, Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis are putting up huge numbers... They've made some trades in the past two years that have built this team up," said Windhorst. 

Sam Amico of Hoops Wire reports that Kuzma is not available in a trade for Crowder.  He also lists several other teams that are joining the Wizards in the Crowder talk

He says the Charlotte Hornets, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves and New York Knicks have all also expressed an interest in Crowder over the past few weeks.

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports