Crowder has yet to be traded and the NBA trade deadline is Feb. 9.
“I’m confused and hurt my coaches didn’t appreciate the things I brought to our team and organization,” Crowder said. “And this has nothing to do with financial or contract differences.”
Suns coach Monty Williams addressed Crowder’s comments before Friday’s game at Minnesota.
“The thing that I’ve been consistent with is the stuff that goes on here, stays here,” Williams said. “I’m not one to use the media to get a point across. It’s just not my way. It’s not how we do business. We respect everybody that has played for us. I think that’s by and large if you talk to anybody that’s been through our program, they’d tell you the same thing.”
Williams called Crowder’s comments a “direct shot” in continuing his response.
“When I see stuff like that, I just keep it moving,” Williams continued. “My focus is on the guys who are here. I have a great deal of respect and love for everybody that’s played for us because I understand what it takes to play in this league. When people say stuff like that, it’s a direct shot and it’s unfortunate, but you have to focus on what you have to everyday. That doesn’t mean you don’t care about guys, but when I saw it, I just kind of shook my head. No need to really even comment. The only comment I have is that I care for everybody that plays for us and has played for us.”
Crowder and the Suns “mutually agreed” he wouldn’t attend training camp in September.
Sources informed The Republic that Crowder took issue with Cam Johnson going into the season as the starting four man over him, but Crowder expressed to Haynes that narrative wasn’t true.
There also are reports Crowder was looking to receive an extension, as he’s in the final year of his three-year contract with Phoenix that’s paying him $10.1 million this season.
The Suns (21-22) are still paying Crowder, who will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, and he still occupies a roster spot.
Throughout the season, Suns teammates have talked about Crowder and his importance to the team’s success the past two seasons, in which the Suns reached the 2021 finals and had the NBA’s best record last season.
Suns point guard Cameron Payne said Crowder was a connector on the team.
In this latest Bleacher Report article, Crowder expressed his appreciation for his Suns teammates.
“I’ve spoken to every player that I’ve played with on that team, and they all have stressed how much they miss (me) and respect my decision, and I’m thankful for their understanding,” Crowder told B/R via text message. “This move of pushing me out the door was a blindsided hit to not only me but my teammates, as you can see from speaking to them and myself and the conversations we’ve had behind closed doors.”
Crowder, who is from the Atlanta area, has been working out at Georgia Tech, Bleacher Report reported.
Crowder taking to social media: Jae Crowder’s Instagram video quoting Ray Lewis reveals mindset in parting with Phoenix Suns
“I will continue to prepare myself daily for battle once the call is made and continue to be a leader on the court, locker room, as well as off the court,” Crowder told Bleacher Report. “I am thankful my teammates appreciated my leadership.”
As far as Crowder being traded, Suns coach Monty Williams was hoping a deal would be done before the Oct. 19 opener against Dallas.
Phoenix had one on the table with Utah before the season began. Sources informed The Republic the Suns tried to trade Crowder to Utah for Bojan Bogdanovic.
Talks broke down when Phoenix also wanted Jarred Vanderbilt, who the Jazz got as part of their blockbuster deal that sent Rudy Gobert to Minnesota.
The Jazz later traded Bogdanovic to Detroit for Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee, who currently is with the Suns on a 10-day contract. Phoenix is without injured Devin Booker (groin), Cam Johnson (knee), Chris Paul (ankle), Landry Shamet (hip) and Payne (foot).
Deandre Ayton (ankle) is set to return for Friday’s game at Minnesota after missing Phoenix’s last two games with an ankle sprain .
Back in November, Suns president of basketball operation, James Jones, wasn’t in a hurry to get a deal done involving Crowder.
“It’s the NBA,” Jones said. “Timing. There aren’t any perfect times. There’s no window where they say, hey, all deals are done here. We have natural deadlines like the trade deadline where we usually have a flurry of deals, but other than that, it’s just finding the right fit and we just haven’t been able to find that yet.”
Months later, the Suns have yet to trade Crowder.
“I think Jae is a good player,” Suns interim team governor Sam Garvin said last month in an interview with The Republic. “Removing myself from my prior roles of vice chairman of the Suns, just as a fan, I’ve always been a fan of Jae Crowder. I love his tenacity, I love his passion and I think he’s going to do well in the right situation with the right team. The arrangement that he’s not coming in, but getting paid was worked out by James.
“I know James and his team, Ryan (Resch), Trevor (Bukstein) and Morgan (Cato), they’ve had a lot of discussions with a lot of teams that are interested in Jae. As James said, there’s no magic wand of a timeline. It’s going to happen when it’s going to happen, but I think Jae is going to go somewhere and do well and I think we’re going to get value for Jae.”
As far as making a trade, Garvin can’t make a major one without Robert Sarver’s approval.
Billionaire mortgage lender Mat Ishbia of Michigan has agreed in principle to purchase the Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury from Sarver for a record $4 billion, but the NBA must approve the deal before he officially becomes the team owner.
Ishbia may not receive league approval by the Feb. 9 trade deadline. So, Jones may not have the flexibility to do a major deal involving Crowder.
Looking for a contract after this season, Crowder would benefit from playing with a team that could make a deep playoff run so he can prove himself worthy of a sizeable multiyear deal.
If he’s traded to team that’s not a playoff contender and has young players, Crowder may not see much action because the team likely will want to play its young players.
Last month, Marc Stein of The Stein Line reported the Suns turned down a deal with the Wizards involving forward Rui Hachimura and an NBA general manager told Heavy.com teams are turned off by Crowder not showing up to play this season.
“He just didn’t show up,” the general manager said in the Heavy.com report. “He said he’s not playing unless he gets a contract extension that he wants. I think a lot of teams are turned off by that in and of itself. Like, ‘What? You don’t want to play for one of the best teams in the NBA and prove that you’re worth it so you can get a contract next year? Like, you’re not that good, bro. What are you doing?’ It’s a weird dynamic. It’s one thing if Kevin Durant’s holding out because he’s not getting paid enough, but Jae Crowder? Seriously?”
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Monty Williams responds to Jae Crowder’s comments about Suns coaches