3 Potential Jae Crowder replacements for the Bucks in NBA free agency

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 14 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 14 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Among the Milwaukee Bucks’ upcoming free agents is Jae Crowder, whom they traded for at the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline.

Crowder was initially viewed as a huge addition to this team, but things never panned out as the forward dealt with an injury and never found his footing. Following a devastating playoff collapse by the Bucks, Crowder told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Subscription required) that he was not sure why the Bucks brought him in and that he did not know his purpose there. While nothing is certain, that doesn’t sound like a person who wants to return for another go-round. If the Bucks do lose Crowder, here are three players they should target to keep their wing depth intact.

No. 1 – Torrey Craig

In the summer of 2020, the Bucks signed Torrey Craig to a minimum deal. It was a solid signing at the time, as the Bucks were in need of a tough defensive-minded wing. However, Craig’s time with the Bucks was simply weird. A nose injury early in the season took him out of the rotation, and he was never able to find his way into the mix. He was eventually traded to the Phoenix Suns at the deadline for cash. With so many questions about their wing depth this off-season, the Bucks may be wise to consider a reunion with the 32-year-old small forward.

Craig has been solid post-Bucks and just had the best regular season of his career, having put up 7.4 points per game while shooting 39.3 percent from deep. While he’s a quality outside shooter, Craig’s calling card is primarily his defense. The 6-foot-7 wing can defend a slew of positions and make things challenging for opposing scorers. After watching the Bucks in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, it’s beyond clear that they need more players who can do that, and Craig would be a seamless fit. With players like Wesley Matthews and George Hill, the Bucks have never been shy about bringing players back for a second chance, and they should consider the same here.

It’s unclear what kind of compensation Criag may be seeking once his current contract expires, but Milwaukee’s front office should throw their hat in the mix to find out.