Celtics reportedly could be interested in reacquiring Jae Crowder


The fallout from Ime Udoka’s yearlong suspension is clouding an increasingly pertinent issue for the Celtics on the court: their lack of depth up front.

With Robert Williams III undergoing knee surgery, the Celtics are thin behind Al Horford, who’s entering his age-36 season. Grant Williams, Luke Kornet, Sam Hauser and Noah Vonleh are the four players most likely to see their playing time increase with Williams out of action.

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In other words, it wouldn’t hurt the Celtics to add another veteran piece. The Athletic’s Shams Charania said Monday Boston could be interested in Jae Crowder, whose role is apparently being minimized in Phoenix.

“When you think about what teams could be interested in Jae Crowder, I would look at the teams he’s played for,” said Charania. “Look for teams like Boston, Memphis, Dallas, Miami, especially, as teams that could be interested in a guy like Jae Crowder. He’s a 3-4 that can play defense, can make shots. Brings a great level of energy and culture to your organization as well.”

Crowder, 32, was an effective 3-and-D player for the Celtics from 2015-17. He’s entering the final year of his contract with a salary cap hit of $10.2 million.

Last season, Crowder averaged 9.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game for the Suns. He shot 34.8 percent from 3-point range, slightly above his career average of 33.9 percent.

The Celtics acquired Crowder when they traded Rajon Rondo to the Mavericks during the 2014-15 season. Boston dealt Crowder to the Cavaliers as part of its package to land Kyrie Irving in 2017.

With Danilo Gallinari also expected to miss the season with an ACL injury, the Celtics would likely still need more scoring off the bench, even if they acquire Crowder. But at least he could help.

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