Portland Trail Blazers: 3 free-agent targets for the 2021 season

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Jae Crowder

When thinking about our mid-level exception, you don’t have to spend all $10 million of it. You can use part of it if need be. Jae Crowder may command less than the $10 million a year but a three-year $27 million deal would look nice for both sides anyway.

Crowder, though only six-foot-six, can defend threes and fours because of his strong 235-pound physique and six-foot-nine wngspan. He is currently on the Miami Heat after being traded to South Beach by the Memphis Grizzlies at the deadline.

The Heat may want to bring him back though. They will be able to go over the cap to do so as they have his bird rights, but will still need to provide the best offer as Crowder at thirty years old would like one more strong payday in the league.

Though he has bounced around a bit in the NBA, he is a respected presence in the locker room while also having strong playoff experience with 51 playoff games played in his 8 years in the league. Crowder is only a 33.6 percent shooter from three, but he shot 35.3 percent in his 200 games with the Boston Celtics.

He can still get to the rim and to the line, where he finishes at 68 percent and 77 percent respectively. Both strong marks for his position. Crowder’s ability to play both the two and three and then defend some small ball fives makes him a great piece for a playoff push. Any player who can shoot at league average from three while defending his position competently will always have a place in the league.

He could come off the bench for this Blazers team and provide toughness and defense on the second unit. He has no problem starting either. His ability to force opposition turnovers regularly is something the Blazers need badly.

This has been a major issue for a longtime, Crowder would be able to address this as most seasons he sits near the top of the tree in forcing turnovers at his position.

Crowder may not be a very flashy free agent signing, but he does the dirty work that this team needs while not stopping the offense on the other end.

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