The Utah Jazz traded Rodney Hood to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Joe Johnson to the Sacramento Kings. In exchange, the Jazz received Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose from Cleveland, but Rose is expected to be released. Here are the answers to some pressing questions about the trades.
Why do it?
The Jazz long have admired Jae Crowder’s toughness, ability to shoot and his grit. He’s also a versatile piece. He’s one of the better wing defenders in the NBA. He can play shooting guard, small forward and power forward, and he can guard all three positions. He fits as a spot-up shooter around Donovan Mitchell, Ricky Rubio and Rudy Gobert. With Crowder, expect Jazz coach Quin Snyder to unlock his small-ball lineups even more.
What are the risks?
Crowder hasn’t been very good this season. He’s struggled with his shooting, his defense has been even worse and he’s seemed miserable with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Jazz are hoping this is due to the system that he was in. Playing with LeBron James means standing around and waiting for the basketball to find you and doing something with it when it arrives. That’s not Crowder’s game. He flourished in Boston with a system that features ball movement. The Jazz are betting he can do the same in Utah.
How does this move fit into the long-term plans?
Crowder has one of the best value deals in the NBA. He’s a starter-level player who will make $ 7.3 million next season and $7.8 million in 2019-2020. Simply put, you may not find a better deal in the league for his level of production. He’s 27, so he’s entering his prime. He actually fits with the timeline. To get that for Rodney Hood, who likely was going to be gone this summer, makes this a potentially great buy-low trade for the Jazz.
How will this trade affect the offense?
Crowder will give the Jazz a shooter at small-ball power forward who will spot-up in the corners and fire away. He’s not great off the dribble, but he’s capable of driving and kicking, attacking closeouts and getting to the basket. He probably becomes Utah’s sixth man if the Jazz keep Derrick Favors in the fold. He easily could become a starter for Utah next season if Favors isn’t back with the team.
What about the defense?
Defensively is where Crowder is a clear upgrade from Hood. He’s one of the better and more versatile wing defenders in the NBA. He’s capable of guarding three spots and fits in perfectly with Snyder’s defensive switching scheme. Here is where Crowder has a perfect chance to make a significant impact.
What about the salary cap going forward?
It gives the Jazz the chance to add a starter-type talent while maintaining cap flexibility. They now have more room to re-sign Dante Exum, so that’s no longer an issue. And they still should have money remaining to upgrade the roster in free agency.
Crowder’s father, Corey, played 51 games for the Jazz during the 1991-92 season.