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Jae Crowder leaves Miami Heat in NBA free agency

Sun Sentinel logoSun Sentinel 2 days ago Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun Sentinel

Jae Crowder proved only to be a rental for the Miami Heat, with the veteran forward departing Saturday for a three-year, $30 million NBA free-agency deal with the Phoenix Suns.

Heat negotiations with Crowder stalled with the Heat limiting their free-agency offers this offseason to deals with only one year guaranteed, most with second-year team options.

Instead, Crowder was able to receive the full $9.3 million NBA mid-level exception with the Suns, as part of his multiyear deal.

Acquired by the Heat at the Feb. 6 NBA trading deadline from the Memphis Grizzlies, in the deal that also added Andre Iguodala and Solomon Hill, Crowder proved to be a revelation with his 3-point shooting and defensive ruggedness, eventually replacing Meyers Leonard in the Heat starting lineup.

But, at 30, Crowder opted for the security of a multiyear deal, even with his primary offseason residence in South Florida. He earned $7.8 million last season on the final year of a five-year, $35 million deal he had signed with the Boston Celtics.

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