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Getty Pascal Siakam and Jae Crowder battle for the ball during a game between the Phoenix Suns and the Toronto Raptors.

In a year that has seen the team get off to a disappointing 7-10 start, there have actually been some positive developments for the Chicago Bulls so far in 2022-23. Chief among them are turnarounds on the defensive front and on the glass.

After ranking just 24th in the Association in defensive rating last season, the Bulls have jumped to the No. 10 spot, conceding a respectable 110.5 points per 100 possessions. Meanwhile, they’re just outside the top 10 with a rebounding percentage of 50.6 in 2022-23, which is up from 49.5% a year ago.

Nevertheless, the team is operating at a shortfall in both areas at the power forward position, where former No. 4 overall pick Patrick Williams is working to find himself as a player. And, even as he’s fresh off a 17-point night against the Boston Celtics — and rocking shooting splits of 48-42-95 for the year — his offense has been questioned, too.

There’s no doubt that Williams is the Bulls’ most important long-term piece not named Zach LaVine, of course. But if the team wants to make the most of its current core’s shrinking window, he may not be the best fit to start at the four right now.

With that in mind, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley just pitched a veteran forward with NBA Finals experience as a trade target/possible replacement, going so fas as to suggest that the Bulls may already be considering him as an option.

B/R Floats Jae Crowder as a Possibility Play
Jae Crowder needs to ACCEPT his role! – Perk urges BOSSMANN to 'take a step back' | NBA TodayThe NBA Today panel evaluate Jae Crowder's trade request from the Phoenix Suns during the offseason. ☑️ Subscribe to ESPN+: plus.espn.com/ ????Get the ESPN App: espn.com/espn/apps/espn ???? Subscribe to NBA on ESPN on YouTube: bit.ly/2yxs3Og ☑️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: es.pn/SUBSCRIBEtoYOUTUBE ☑️Watch ESPN on YouTube TV: es.pn/YouTubeTV2022-09-28T19:51:29Z

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Buckley just put out his list of trade targets for the Bulls to consider as the pre-trade deadline rumor mill begins to churn. And one of the players that he namechecked — Jae Crowder of the Phoenix Suns — could seemingly step right into the starting power forward spot and bring a level of improvement on both sides of the ball thanks to his versatility and experience.

“Crowder has the size to bang with bigger forwards and enough quickness to keep in front of the speedier ones. His three-ball isn’t the surest around (career 34.6%), but it seems like it’s there when he needs it,” Buckley wrote.

“For a Bulls team that isn’t sure what Patrick Williams can be or whether they can squeeze enough offense out of Javonte Green, they almost certainly must be paying close attention to Crowder’s situation in Phoenix.”

Over his two years in the Valley of the Sun, the 32-year-old Crowder averaged 9.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.1 steals per contest and shot 36.9% from deep. During the 2021 Finals, he logged a 12-9-2-2 line and bagged better than 40% of his triples.

Crowder Is More ‘On the Block’ Than Just About Anyone in the League

After seeing his role get reduced slightly last season — and with an additional reduction expected to happen this year — Crowder decided to request a trade out of Phoenix just before training camp. The Suns are doing their best to oblige the baller in that request, too.

The problem has been finding a deal netting them a win-now piece to aid in their quest to get back to the championship round. And the Bulls don’t really have that piece to send out, either. Buckley does see one potential solution, though:

“Chicago, however, could have a workaround by sending a long-term asset like Coby White to a rebuilder, who then sends a win-now piece or two back to the Suns.”

News Source: Heavy.com

Tags: nba basketball nba breaking news 5 fast facts crime politics shopping the phoenix suns patrick williams espn on youtube power forward williams jae crowder last season back

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Yankees offer to Aaron Judge around $300 million for eight years: report

The Aaron Judge watch is expected to kick into high gear with the start of the MLB Winter Meetings on Sunday.

And the Bombers don’t plan to go down without a fight.

The Yankees have an offer to Judge on the table that is around eight years and $300 million, according to ESPN. This would make him the highest-paid position player in the history of baseball in terms of average annual value.

The Yankees are willing to increase the offer depending on how the market shapes up for Judge, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Reports have also indicated that No. 99 seems likely to sign by the end of the four-day gathering in San Diego.

Reports on the talks between the Yankees and Judge have been relatively quiet to this point, just as Hal Steinbrenner wanted.

“I’m not going to allow this negotiation to play out in the media. We’ve had several conversations, and they were all positive conversations, he and I, just the two of us,” the Yankees owner said at the MLB Owners’ meetings in midtown Manhattan on Nov. 16. “I’m not going to get into our conversations and what they are, but he’s a very important part of this team.

The other known suitor for Judge is the Giants and their offer — or if they have even made an offer — is unknown at this time. San Francisco has long been rumored to be a potential landing spot for Judge. The current AL MVP grew up in Linden, Calif., which is about two and a half hours away from San Francisco, as a fan of the Giants.

Judge, 30, a homegrown Yankee, is a free agent and was named AL MVP after he slashed .311/.425/.686 with an AL single-season record 62 homers and 131 RBI, adding to his stellar resume as he was about to hit the open market.

The right fielder turned down a seven-year, $213.5 offer from the Yankees prior to the start of the ‘22 campaign. At the time, it was seen by many as a fair offer, however, his remarkable season surely upped the price tag.

Judge seemingly was unhappy with the fact that GM Brian Cashman announced the exact figures of the offer that he turned down. However, Steinbrenner does not believe that there is any bad blood from that situation.

“In the conversations we’ve had, it has not come up,” Steinbrenner said. “It might, but I will explain to him that it was my call, be mad at me.

“It’s something I approved when [Brian] Cash[man] brought it to me. Aaron and I have not discussed that. But it’s something I definitely approved. I approve everything. I think Cash’s idea was, it’s going to get out anyway, let’s be transparent about it so the correct information gets out there to our fans.”

With their franchise player being courted, Cashman and wasted no time in trying to put the AL home run king back in pinstripes and confirmed that they have indeed made an offer.

“Yeah, [we’ve made an offer] we’re in real-time,” said Cashman during the Covenant House Sleep Out event at Silverstein Family Park on Nov. 19. “We’re on the clock. We’re certainly not going to mess around. Of course, we’ve made another offer, we’ve made offers since spring training.

“In the early stages of free agency, our first conversations with Aaron Judge started the day after our season ended. So we’re serious, we’ve always said we were.”

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