Report: Miami Heat could target veteran Paul Milsap if Jae Crowder leaves

There are replacement options should Crowder decide to pack it up.

Jae Crowder Miami Heat
Photo: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

The Miami Heat could possibly look to bring in Paul Milsap or even Aron Baynes if they lose Jae Crowder in the offseason, according to the Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman.

Crowder joined the Heat along with Andre Iguodala and Solomon Hill in February, coming in from the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team trade. While many expected that Iguodala would be the man most likely to make the biggest contribution, Crowder’s defense and shooting from long distance saw him become a starter for Erik Spoelstra in the playoffs and he ultimately helped them reach the NBA Finals.

Via @MiamiHeat

The Heat would very much like to keep Crowder but, per Winderman, there will be multi-year offers from other teams while they’re looking to retain as much cap space as possible for the 2021 free-agent class, with Giannis Antetokounmpo thought to be Pat Riley’s prime target.

Winderman writes:

“For example, if retaining Crowder becomes an issue, there are viable Plan Bs out there,” Winderman wrote. “One, for example, could be Paul Millsap, if the 35-year-old veteran gets squeezed out by the Nuggets going all-in with Jerami Grant’s free agency and the preference to develop Michal Porter Jr.

“Similarly, the Suns’ refurbishment could leave Aron Baynes potentially there for the taking as a one-year stopgap.”

Crowder averaged 11.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game with Miami in the regular season. Both Milsap and Baynes averaged similar numbers, with the former going for 11.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.6 assists for the Denver Nuggets and the latter posting 11.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists for the Phoenix Suns.

It’s thought that Crowder might be keen on staying put as he’s played with four different teams in the last three seasons and could be looking for stability.

Advertisement