Suns' Veteran Will Continue To Sit Out Despite Team's Injuries

One of the strangest sagas in the NBA has gotten even stranger. As the Phoenix Suns seek to replicate their recent playoff successes, they have been struck early with some tough injury luck. Most recently, they lost forward Cameron Johnson to a meniscus tear, which will keep him out of the lineup for up to two months. In the wake of this news, observers began to speculate on the fate of fellow Suns’ wing Jae Crowder.

Crowder has been sitting out the regular season after demanding a trade from the team, reportedly for their refusal to put him in the starting lineup. He is an experienced veteran who offers strong defense but not much in the way of scoring, averaging less than 10 points and 2 assists per game. At 32 years old, Crowder is in the back half of his career, so the Suns have prioritized younger wings like Johnson with more potential upside. With their wing depth now depleted, though, it would seem that Crowder should be in line for the starting job, fixing the problem that led to his trade demand.
But in a surprising turn of events, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has reported that neither side has any intention of changing their minds, and that Crowder will continue to sit out until a trade to another team is made. According to Windhorst, "despite Johnson's injury, there is no change to the situation with Crowder, and there are no current plans for him to return to the team." Despite the lack of playing time, teams thinking of trading for Crowder will at least be happy to know he’s been staying active.