Grading Jae Crowder’s team-friendly deal with the Milwaukee Bucks

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 01 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 01 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jae Crowder, Philadelphia 76ers: Jalen McDaniels
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – APRIL 02 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Looking at Jae Crowder’s fit and role with the Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks made sure to stock up on wings this off-season. While the young players in Andre Jackson Jr. and Chris Livingston will see playing time, the Bucks also needed a veteran in the locker room, and Crowder is exactly that. In today’s NBA, a team can never have too many wings in the rotation, especially ones with battled tested experience.

With Wesley Matthews seemingly not on the team’s priority list, Crowder will now assume duties as Milwaukee’s top wing defender next season. When Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, or other prolific wings come to town, Crowder will likely draw the assignment of guarding them. Along with being a pest defensively, the wing will be tasked with knocking down triples on the other end. He’s the prototypical 3-and-D wing, and the Bucks will likely utilize him as such.

Having Crowder will also allow the Bucks to utilize their small-ball lineups more often. When the team won the title in 2021, a large reason for it was their ability to put Giannis Antetokounmpo at center and run smaller lineups, as P.J. Tucker could play power forward. For the past two seasons, they’ve been looking for that Tucker replacement, and Crowder is the closest they’ve gotten so far in terms of build. Having a player like that will help the Bucks get back to being versatile with their lineups, which is something they’ve desperately needed.

Crowder’s role with the team is clear, but it will be compelling to see how exactly he gets his time on the court. Could the team make him a full-time starter this season? Will he move to the bench and consistently be a reserve? The former would make sense, as it would give the Bucks a strong defensive starting five that is up there with the best of them in today’s league. There wouldn’t be much concern with his fit alongside Milwaukee’s Big 4, as he would be a seamless piece. Yet, only time will tell how he’s utilized.