Jae Crowder not finding role he wanted this postseason with Milwaukee Bucks

After he started for the Suns in consecutive seasons that included a trip to the NBA Finals and then a franchise-best 64 wins, Jae Crowder requested a trade from Phoenix this offseason and sat out until he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks at the trade deadline in February.

Crowder, who is in the final year his 3-year, $29,162,700 contract, reportedly wanted an extension the Suns did not give him. Crowder was also not guaranteed his starting spot, according to reports, which led to his request, though he disputed that through a statement to TNT's Chris Haynes.

Crowder's request was granted when he was dealt to the Brooklyn Nets as part of the Suns' package to receive Kevin Durant. Crowder was soon traded from the Nets to the Bucks for five second-round picks. 

Crowder landed with the first-place team in the Eastern Conference that is also the favorite to win the NBA championship. But assuming he desired a starting role, he has not received it.

Crowder has averaged only 13.3 minutes in three playoff games with the Bucks, who seemingly need players to step up since forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is out with a back contusion, in their first-round series against the eighth-seeded Miami Heat. He has made 3-of-13 shots and missed all six of his 3-point attempts in those contests.

In two playoff runs with the Suns, Crowder started all 35 games. He averaged 10.8 points and 6.1 rebounds in their 23-game run to the 2021 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Bucks. Last season, he averaged 9.4 points and 4.7 rebounds for the Suns before they were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals. 

Crowder is now lightly used, something he seemingly did not want in Phoenix. 

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