A three-team trade involving the Miami Heat, Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves last month was headlined by the Grizzlies shipping veteran three-time NBA champion Andre Iguodala to the Heat.
Jae Crowder’s arrival from Memphis has had a greater impact in Miami, however, and the 29-year-old forward wants to keep building with the Heat beyond the 2019-20 campaign.
“I really want to make this my home,” Crowder told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “I feel comfortable here, feel comfortable with the whole organization top to bottom. If everything goes as we plan, I’m sure everybody would like to stay together and build off what we’re doing this year and go into next year with the same mindset.”
The Heat are 41-24 and fourth in the Eastern Conference as the NBA’s season is suspended beginning March 12 for at least 30 days amid the coronavirus outbreak. Per Jackson, Crowder has averaged 11.9 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 39.3 percent from three-point range since making his Heat debut on Feb. 9.
Crowder was especially hot in Miami’s 105-89 blowout defeat of the NBA-best Milwaukee Bucks with a game-high five triples (one shy of his career-high for a single game):
Crowder has hit at least three three-pointers in seven of his 13 games with the Heat.
The 2012 second-round pick is set to hit unrestricted free agency after this season, per Spotrac.
Jackson outlined what it will likely take for Crowder to remain in Miami:
“But such a plan likely would be dependent on Dragic, Crowder and Leonard taking one-year deals, so as not to affect 2021 cap space (which remains a Heat priority), and Jones Jr. accepting either a one-year deal or a two-year contract with a second-season salary of no more than $6 million or so, thus ensuring Miami enough cap space to add a max free agent in 2021, when Giannis Antetokounmpo will be targeted.”
Miami is Crowder’s fifth team since debuting with the Dallas Mavericks in 2012. His best statistical years came with the Boston Celtics from 2015 to ’17 by averaging 14 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.4 steals in 145 starts across two seasons.