Rockets are open to facilitate Jay Crowder’s trade with Phoenix

The ongoing showdown between the Phoenix Suns and disgruntled veteran Jae Crowder may be coming to an end, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. He wrote in a news article published on Wednesday:

The Suns have many suitors, including the Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, and Golden State Warriors. One executive told B/R that the end result could be a multi-team trade with three, four, or even five NBA franchises.

Pincus adds in the column, “Houston Rockets may be the key to Crowder’s deal (along with Dario Daric), with Kenyon Martin Jr. and Eric Gordon, the potential return to Phoenix.”

“The Rockets are going to want to get real value back, whether that’s with quality young prospects and/or draft considerations.”

Gordon, who turns 34 later this year, makes perfect sense as a veteran defender and floor spacer alongside the likes of Chris Paul and Devin Booker in Phoenix. He’s also too old for a current rebuild with the Rockets in Houston, and his salary almost exactly matches Crowder’s and Saric’s mix, for trade-matching purposes.

Martin, at 21, doesn’t make sense for Houston to be traded, but he’s also not a superstar — so he’s probably not completely off the table. He’s a free agent after the 2023-24 season as well, so it’s likely the peak of his trade this season, rather than waiting until he gets close to free agency.

However, the problem from Houston’s perspective is that 32-year-old Jay Crowder doesn’t make much sense to rebuild either. So, is it possible that another team in need of Crowder’s services — perhaps the defending NBA champion Warriors, who started a disappointing 8-10 — send an asset to the Rockets could be worth giving up Gordon and/or Martin in such a deal?

Pincus speculates that one of Golden State’s favorites like James Wiseman, Jonathan Cuminga, or Moses Moody — lottery picks in the 2020, 2021, and 2021 NBA drafts, respectively — could become an option, especially if their slow start continues.

If so, is there a deal to be made in which the Rockets trade off Gordon and possibly Martin in exchange for a member of that trio? It remains to be seen if there is serious interest from Houston’s perspective, and only third-year general manager Rafael Stone knows the answer. But it’s worth watching in the coming weeks and months, as the NBA prepares for the upcoming trade season and February 2023 deadline for trades in the 2022-23 season.

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