Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder is a 10-year NBA veteran who’s brought his toughness and 3-and-D ability to seven different NBA teams. After the last two seasons of being a key starter on the Western Conference contender Suns, both the team and the player are ready to move on. The franchise has shut the 32-year-old down while it explores a Jae Crowder trade with several franchises, including the Atlanta Hawks. This deal could make a lot of sense for both teams, as the Suns look to get younger in the starting lineup with Cam Johnson and across the entire roster, and the Hawks look for veteran toughness and leadership to help Trae Young and company take the next step. Since this is such a good fit for both sides, here is the perfect Jae Crowder Suns-Hawks trade offer.

What a Suns-Hawks Jae Crowder trade should look like

Jae Crowder is in the final year of his current deal, and he’ll make $10.2 million this season before becoming an unrestricted free agent this offseason. That number is in line with what Crowder will be looking for in his next contract which, at 32, could be his last.

The Suns are trying to shake things up this season after making the 2021 NBA Finals and losing in the 2022 semifinals. The team’s young core of Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Mikal Bridges are locked-up long-term, but at 37, the pressure is mounting for Chris Paul to have the right team around him to win a title.

Waiting in the wings behind Crowder is fourth-year player Cam Johnson, who seems ready for a bigger role. It would be hard for the organization to simply ask Crowder to take a back seat to Johnson in a contract year. Plus, that wouldn’t show much faith in Johnson, either.

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A trade is best for all involved, and Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reports that the Atlanta Hawks (along with the Miami Heat) are the veteran’s preferred destination in a Jae Crowder trade.

On the Hawks' end, after a surprising 2021 Eastern Conference Finals run, the team lost handily (4-1) to the Heat in the first round of the playoffs last season.

The Hawks’ youth movement has taken the team as far as it can. Now it is time to jettison the longer-term prospects who aren’t helping the team win now, and bring in a veteran who has proven he can help in a tough playoff series.

That’s why a perfect Suns-Hawks Jae Crowder trade would look like this:

  • Suns get: Onyeka Okongwu, Jarrett Culver
  • Hawks get: Jae Crowder, Suns 2023 first-round pick

In addition to this trade working for both teams financially, it also works for both teams’ needs on the court.

With Crowder in Atlanta, the Hawks can use him just like the Suns did in his two years out West. He can nominally be the starter on the wing to keep his NBA starter status, and the Hawks can be slow and cautious about rookie first-round pick A.J. Griffin and the talented but perpetually injured De’Andre Hunter.

Whether Crowder finishes games depends on how these three players are playing at the time, but it gives Nate McMillan a lot of flexibility late in games to go alongside Trae Young, John Collins, and Dejounte Murray.

For the Suns, this trade is great, too. First of all, the first-round pick the team is giving up should be in the 20s at best, so that’s not a big deal to the franchise. There also may not even be room for a late-round rookie on the roster next season, especially with the Suns getting two young players back in the Jae Crowder trade.

Onyeka Okongwu is a 21-year-old, 6-foot-8 big who the Hawks picked No. 6 in the NBA Draft. He’s only played 98 games in his two pro seasons but did show promise last year. In 48 games, he played 20.7 minutes per game and averaged 8.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.3 blocks.

Okongwu — who, fun fact, played with the Ball Brothers in high school at Chino Hills in California — will be a great developmental rim protector and pick-and-roll big behind Ayton and can likely play alongside him if the matchup is right.

As for Culver, he was the No. 6 pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2019 draft and is mostly just in the deal to make the salaries match up. After just three seasons, he already looks like a potential bust, averaging just 6.6 points, 1.2 assists, and 1.8 rebounds per game.

However, he is still just 23 years old, and if you’re taking a player as a salary in the Jae Crowder trade, why not take a young, highly-drafted player who could be a late bloomer?

So, there it is. Onyeka Okongwu and Jarrett Culver for Jae Crowder and the Suns' 2023 first-round pick is the perfect Suns-Haws Jae Crowder trade.