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January 1, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder (99) shoots the ball over Denver Nuggets guard Monte Morris (11) in the second quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s time to work! I’m glad to be back home!” It’s safe to say that Jae Crowder is happy with his new scenery after tweeting this out Thursday. The veteran small forward was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday’s trade deadline in exchange for five second-round picks. A Marquette alumnus, Crowder will be back in the area he played at in college and on his eighth NBA team.

Crowder has sat out the entirety of the 2022 NBA season after voicing his displeasure with the Suns organization. Not long after, Milwaukee showed strong interest in Crowder all the way into Feb. And while he was ultimately traded to the Brooklyn Nets first in the Kevin Durant trade, Milwaukee eventually got their guy.

As Giannis Antetokounmpo so eloquently puts it, he’s a bully and an enforcer. He brings the Bucks that edge they haven’t had since PJ Tucker left for the Miami Heat. He’s a guy that you’d love to have on your team but hate to play against. He’s a veteran who has helped his teams win in the playoffs for the better part of a decade. Crowder’s attitude and culture will be a big addition to the deer.

You can see it, the intensity, when he’s on defense. Last year, Khris Middleton sprained his MCL before the Boston Celtics series. So, the Bucks best option was to put Grayson Allen on Jayson Tatum defensively. That was very much less than ideal, as Tatum and the other forwards torched the smaller defender. Allen is a solid perimeter defender against other guards but struggles against bigger players as most guards do. The Bucks think Crowder will be putting an end to that and it’s easy to see why. It’s that versatility to adjust and flex their lineup that will allow the Bucks to make another deep playoff run.

Another skill Crowder brings to the table is his three-ball. Crowder is a career 34.6% shooter from deep in the regular season. For the most part, he is able to replicate that in the postseason as his career total there is 33.9%. However, last season saw a downtick after he shot just 30.2% for the Suns in the playoffs. The Bucks obviously see that as more of an anomaly than his true form. And with Antetokounmpo’s ability to pass out to open shooters, it should create an environment for Crowder to thrive in.

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