The pros and cons of the Milwaukee Bucks trading for Jae Crowder

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 06 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 06 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Phoenix Suns: Jae Crowder
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 10 (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images) /

With the 2022-23 NBA season inching close, it seems that the Milwaukee Bucks may not be done tinkering with their roster just yet.

Speculation started when ESPN’s Zach Lowe mentioned on his podcast recently that he bets the Bucks will take a look at Jae Crowder on the trade market. A disgruntled Crowder recently asked the Phoenix Suns for a trade, and there are reportedly several teams looking to acquire him before this coming season begins. According to long-time NBA insider Marc Stein (subscription required), the Cleveland Cavaliers and Bucks are two teams who have been mentioned as potential landing spots for the veteran forward. With Crowder looking for a new home and the Bucks rumored to be interested, let us break down the pros and cons of Milwaukee bringing in the 32-year-old.

The pros of the Milwaukee Bucks trading for Jae Crowder

On paper, Jae Crowder is exactly the type of player that the Milwaukee Bucks are always rumored to be looking at, so this news was not surprising. Known for his reputable defense and long-range shooting, the veteran forward personifies the NBA’s ‘3-and-D wing’ archetype.

Adding Crowder would immediately make the Bucks stronger defensively. The 6-foot-6 Crowder can defend multiple positions at the highest level, bringing more tenacity and toughness to that side of the floor. It was abundantly clear in last season’s seven-game playoff series against the Boston Celtics that the Bucks would have benefitted tremendously from having another strong wing defender on their side to defend Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Crowder would give the Bucks another great defender to take on those tough defensive assignments nightly.

Having Crowder on the floor alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez, and others would make for some lethal defensive lineups. As Zach Lowe mentioned on his podcast, the Bucks are seemingly in the hunt for more “switchable guys,” which is exactly what Crowder can bring to the table. On that note, he would also bring more versatility into the mix, giving the Bucks a long-awaited forward who can slide to the four when Giannis Antetokounmpo goes to play center. This was something the Bucks lacked last season, and it showed in the playoffs.

Crowder’s experience also cannot be overlooked. Not only is the 32-year-old a ten-year NBA vet, but he also has a considerable amount of playoff experience. Crowder has appeared in 107 games in the playoffs throughout his career, which includes 12 NBA Finals games in two separate trips. The veteran has no shortage of battle-tested experience, and for a team like the Bucks that is in win-now mode, that would be huge.

For his defense, switchability, versatility, and experience, Crowder possesses a lot of qualities that resemble a former Buck in P.J. Tucker. Of course, Tucker helped the Bucks win the 2021 title due to all of those attributes, and the front office was unable to replace his skillset the following season. On the floor, Crowder is the closest thing to Tucker in the entire league, and adding him would be a reasonable move for that very reason.