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#pounditSaturday, August 13, 2022

Celtics could reunite with notable former player?

Brad Stevens with his arms extended

Apr 22, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens reacts following a call during the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks in game four of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off their NBA Finals run, the Boston Celtics may be looking to turn back the clock a few years.

Sean Deveney of Heavy.com wrote this week that Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder could potentially be a trade target for the Celtics this offseason, citing a conversation with an anonymous Eastern Conference executive.

“[Crowder] is a guy who, to me, makes the most sense for [Boston] because he has that toughness they want,” the executive was quoted as saying. “He has been in the Finals, he has played deep in the playoffs for a lot of years, and they could use another big guy to stretch the floor. [Celtics coach] Ime [Udoka] loves a tough guy, that is the kind of player [Udoka] was.

Crowder, 31, played for Boston from 2014 to 2017. He was teammates with current Celtics Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Al Horford on top of being coached by Brad Stevens, now Boston’s president of basketball operations.

Though he averaged a modest 9.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last season, Crowder is a physical 3-and-D forward who could really soup up Boston’s small-ball lineups, perhaps as an upgrade over Grant Williams. Deveney also notes that Crowder, who is owed $10.2 million next season in the final year of his contract, could fit into the $17.3 million traded-player exception that the Celtics acquired from the New York Knicks in the 2021 Evan Fournier trade. As for if the Suns would be willing to trade Crowder, we have an idea about that as well.

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