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Jae Crowder says he ‘always wanted’ to play for Heat

Heat, Jae Crowder

When Jae Crowder found out he was getting traded to the Miami Heat in the Andre Iguodala deal from the Memphis Grizzlies, one of his dreams finally came true.

Crowder said he has always wanted to play for the Heat and city of Miami.

“I’m just very happy to be a part of this organization because I’ve always envisioned that, but I never knew if it could come true,” Jae Crowder said, via The Miami Herald. “But I always wanted to play for this city.

“I’m a Southern guy for the most part. I’m from Atlanta, but I just didn’t want to live back home. Whenever I was coming here and my agent was here and I was able to train here when I’m not doing my workouts and stuff, it just felt right. It just felt like home. I quickly adjusted and I made it home. I didn’t want to live in Atlanta. … Then I was able to make some money here and I bought a house. Once I did that, it was like a no-brainer that this is my home.”

In 13 games with the Heat prior to the season getting suspended due to COVID-19, Crowder was averaging 11.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 28.7 minutes per contest. The rugged defender was also shooting 43.9 percent from the field, 39.3 percent from beyond the arc and 76.9 percent from the free-throw line.

The Heat went 41-24 before the NBA suspended the season following Rudy Gobert’s positive coronavirus test. Miami was on its way to making the playoffs after the team missed it in 2018-19.

Crowder becomes an unrestricted free agent whenever the 2020 free agency begins. It remains to be seen if the Heat have interest in re-signing the Marquette product, but there’s no doubt he is proving himself valuable for the team.