What would a Bulls trade package for Jae Crowder look like?

DeMar DeRozan, Jae Crowder, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
DeMar DeRozan, Jae Crowder, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Back in early August, I wrote about how Jae Crowder‘s cryptic Tweets might be signaling his impending departure from Phoenix and how it could stand to massively benefit the Chicago Bulls. Not even two whole months later, the versatile two-way forward has come to a formal agreement with the Suns to find a new home for the 2022-23 season.

Crowder is expected to command a fair amount of attention on the trade market as one of the NBA’s elite ‘3-and-D’ role players. He has averaged 9.7 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists per game while shooting 36.9% from 3-point range and playing a big role in Phoenix’s success over the last two years.

Shams Charania of The Athletic confirms the long-speculated feud between Crowder and Phoenix’s front office has come to a head with a trade inevitably on the horizon.

Matching Crowder’s $10 million salary is undoubtedly the biggest roadblock in trade negotiations between Chicago and Phoenix. If the Bulls wanted to expedite a trade for Crowder as soon as possible, the only real route to acquiring the forward would be by packaging Coby White with Javonte Green.

This is likely the best offer the Suns would get for Crowder, and would be a satisfactory return. However, this is also why I think the Bulls would be unwise to agree to these terms. Instead, the Bulls should exercise patience instead of making an irreversible mistake by turning two quality bench players into just one.

What would a realistic trade for Jae Crowder look like for the Chicago Bulls?

If the Bulls could stall negotiations, they’d be able to retain Javonte while also still finding an immediate upgrade at power forward in Crowder. The recently re-signed Derrick Jones Jr. cannot be traded until December 15 at the earliest, but his salary would also fulfill the financial obligations to bring Crowder to the Bulls.

A trade involving Crowder for Coby and DJJ feels fair and is one of the rare suggestions that seems that both teams would be better off, at least on paper.

Rarely are contenders given the opportunity to turn two decent rotational pieces into a bonafide starter at the weakest position in their starting lineup, so it makes sense why many Bulls fans are in support of this idea. That being said, are we really certain Crowder is a surefire starter?

It could be argued that Crowder isn’t even a substantial amount better than Jones Jr., and even if you think he is, banking everything on a 32-year-old Crowder feels a bit foolish when developing the incumbent starter Patrick Williams has been the organization’s top priority this summer.

The Bulls would also be giving up on Coby by making this trade, which would be yet another admittance of failure to develop homegrown talent by the Bulls. Intentionally sacrificing this team’s depth for a one-year rental just feels extremely ill-advised, especially considering all of the question marks currently surrounding this roster.

I understand that many fans would prefer to have an insurance policy in case the Patrick Williams experiment doesn’t work out, but that’s simply a possibility the Chicago Bulls cannot afford to be worried about right now. Establishing continuity and putting players into the best position possible to succeed must be the priority for this team moving forward. If they fail to accomplish even that much, was Crowder ever going to put this team over the top in the first place?

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