The Memphis Grizzlies landed forward Jae Crowder in a deal that sent Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, but with the Grizzlies clearly entering rebuilding mode, they don’t have much use for Crowder going forward.
That means that the Grizzlies will surely try to trade Crowder, and some contenders will certainly be interested.
Crowder is a tough, physical guy who can guard multiple positions and can score a little bit. While he appears to be pretty far gone from being the offensive threat he was during his days with the Boston Celtics, he is still a somewhat decent threat from downtown.
Here are three teams who should consider trading for Jae Crowder, who is entering the final year of his deal and is making just $7.8 million:
3. Los Angeles Lakers
With the Lakers sacrificing a whole lot of depth to trade for Anthony Davis, Crowder seems like a natural fit.
He can play either forward position and is a rugged defender who can switch everything, which is something the Lakers really lack.
Of course, Crowder is not a knockdown shooter, which could end up being a big problem in a Lakers offense that is already short on perimeter shooting, but his defensive chops and toughness could overshadow that a bit, especially if LA lands some shooters.
Right now, Los Angeles doesn’t have much of a bench at all, so Crowder would be a great pickup who would not cost the Lakers much at all.
2. Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers may lose Patrick Beverley this offseason, but they can make up that toughness by acquiring Crowder.
Los Angeles seems like the most likely landing spot for Kawhi Leonard, as well, so imagine how nasty a defensive tandem of Leonard and Crowder would look?
Crowder would represent a great veteran presence for a young Clippers team, and he would also be able to help guys like Montrezl Harrell on the defensive end.
Los Angeles also has enough perimeter shooting where Crowder’s mediocrity from long range wouldn’t be that big of a deal.
Crowder really would be a perfect fit for the Clips.
1. Brooklyn Nets
One thing that was blatantly obvious during the Nets’ first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers was that they lacked tough guys.
Jared Dudley had to play the role of enforcer, which is not something any of us ever envisioned happening. While Brooklyn is looking to bring in Kyrie Irving and another max free agent along with him, it cannot overlook the fact that it needs some toughness.
Crowder would immediately bring that to the table, and you can bet that the nonsense that went on against the 76ers would have looked very different had Crowder been in the fold.
The wily vet would fill the role that Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was supposed to fill over his first few years with the Nets, but the difference is that Crowder is not a complete liability offensively and can do a better job of guarding bigger players on the defensive end.
It’s hard to imagine a better fit for Crowder than Brooklyn.