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NEW YORK — The Phoenix Suns are spiraling, having misplaced eight of their previous 10 contests.
Injuries to Chris Paul (hip), Devin Booker (groin), Cameron Johnson (meniscus), and Cameron Payne (foot sprain) have derailed any alternative for momentum and prompted the workforce to plummet in the standings.
Defensive star Mikal Bridges advised Bleacher Report the accidents are definitely guilty, however he additionally added that they sorely miss the presence of Jae Crowder, who has been away all season whereas the workforce explores avenues to commerce him.
Bridges acknowledged he helps Crowder’s determination to be away.
“That’s one in all our leaders,” Bridges advised B/R. “I texted him not too way back and advised him how a lot I miss him. That’s my man. It’s the NBA. It occurs. I do know he desires to be right here, nevertheless it’s the league. That’s simply how it’s generally. This is my fifth 12 months in the league, and I perceive the way it may very well be. You’ve obtained to guard your self generally. We’ll like to have him right here, however we get it.”
Crowder has been spending most of his time in Atlanta understanding at Georgia Tech. The 32-year-old three-and-D specialist tells B/R he is in nice form and understanding day by day.
He additionally prolonged his appreciation to his teammates for his or her discernment of the scenario and expressed frustration with how the matter obtained so far.
“I’ve spoken to each participant that I’ve performed with on that workforce and all of them have careworn how a lot they miss [me] and respect my determination, and I’m grateful for his or her understanding,” Crowder advised B/R through textual content message. “This transfer of pushing me out the door was a blindsided hit to not solely me however my teammates, as you’ll be able to see from talking to them and myself and the conversations we have had behind closed doorways.
“I’ll proceed to arrange myself day by day for battle as soon as the decision is made and proceed to be a frontrunner on the court docket, locker room, in addition to off the court docket. I’m grateful my teammates appreciated my management. I’m confused and harm my coaches did not respect the issues I delivered to our workforce and group. And this has nothing to do with monetary or contract variations.”
The commerce deadline is Feb. 9.
The Suns didn’t reply to a request for remark. Phoenix is presently 21-22, positioned seventh in the Western Conference standings.
Rivals Interested in Will Barton?
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The Washington Wizards have been receiving calls on the provision of guard Will Barton forward of the Feb. 9 commerce deadline, league sources inform B/R.
Barton has fallen out of coach Wes Unseld Jr.’s rotation in latest weeks and collected a number of DNP-coach’s choices.
The Wizards aren’t mentioned to be actively buying Barton as of but, however issues may change if the workforce continues to battle. The 32-year-old is on an expiring $14.4 million deal.
Washington is 18-24 and twelfth in the Eastern Conference standings.
Cameron Johnson Eyeing Return
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Phoenix Suns ahead Cameron Johnson has been sidelined since Nov. 4 as he recovers from a torn meniscus. He not too long ago began collaborating absolutely in practices.
He advised B/R he expects to make his return shortly after the Suns conclude their four-game street journey. Their subsequent residence recreation is Jan. 19 in opposition to the Brooklyn Nets, which represents the earliest time Johnson may rejoin the workforce.
Jayson Tatum in the 3-Point Contest?
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Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum has been invited to take part in the 3-Point Contest throughout All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City, league sources inform B/R.
When reached by textual content, Tatum confirmed the invitation however mentioned he hadn’t but decided.