3 Bucks playing for their future in Milwaukee in the NBA Playoffs

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - MARCH 27 (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - MARCH 27 (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jae Crowder
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – FEBRUARY 24 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Jae Crowder is playing for his future with the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2023 playoffs

Jae Crowder is in the final year of his contract in 2023 and will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Crowder was acquired from the Brooklyn Nets at the trade deadline this season. It’s the same gamble that the Bucks took when they received P.J. Tucker from Houston in 2021.

The Bucks have missed a player as versatile as Tucker since, which sparked the move for Crowder. Crowder has lived up to everything the team had hoped he would be on the defensive end while contributing better on offense than expected.

The most surprising part of the addition of Crowder has been how he has shot the ball. Crowder has been spectacular, with shooting splits of .479/.436/.833 this season. Considering his career marks in those categories are .418/.348./.778, Crowder has certainly exceeded expectations. The outstanding contribution on offense is just a bonus for the defense that the team acquired Crowder to play.

The great thing about Crowder defensively is that he can switch onto different matchups and guard all five positions on the floor. His versatility on that end takes the pressure off the other defenders on his team. Not that Jrue Holiday, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Brook Lopez can’t hold their own, but Crowder makes it almost a death lineup.

If Crowder can give the Bucks the great versatile wing defender he’s been already, the Bucks should avoid making the same mistake they once made when they let Tucker walk and bring Crowder back next season.