Miami Heat: Jae Crowder and the most important games of his life, at the moment.

Jae Crowder #99 of the Miami Heat reacts against the Milwaukee Bucks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jae Crowder #99 of the Miami Heat reacts against the Milwaukee Bucks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

With the Miami Heat getting set to restart play, the storylines start to come back to life. One of those is what to do about Jae Crowder after the season.

The Miami Heat are getting ready to tip their season back off and winning will once again become one of the more pressing pieces of business. However, after the season, there is more pressing business that will need to be attended to.

One of these slices of business that will need to be addressed is the status of Jae Crowder. Since coming over from the Memphis Grizzlies as apart of the Justise Winslow deal, Crowder has not only been the best piece acquired in that trade for the Miami Heat, but he’s been one of the best players, overall, on the entire team.

In 45 games with Grizzlies to begin the season, Crowder averaged 9.9 points on 29.3 percent shooting from three. Across his 13 games played for the Miami Heat prior to the suspension coming into place, he averaged 11.9 points on 39.3 percent shooting from distance. First of all, that is an astronomical 10 percentage point difference from place to place, but anywhere, 40 percent from three is elite.

Playing on the last year of a five year deal for $35 million that he signed with the Boston Celtics, Crowder is set to be a free agent after the season expires.

The Miami Heat should want to keep Jae Crowder in the fold beyond this season. What will it take to keep him in South Beach though?

While the exact figures are largely unknown, we can look at three examples from last season’s free-agent market, where Crowder could make a case to receive something similar to any of the three, while more than likely and like any of us, going for the largest amount possible.

Harrison Barnes signed a four year deal with Sacramento Kings last offseason for $85 million dollars total. Thaddeus Young signed a deal with the Chicago Bulls last offseason for a total of just over $43.5 million for three seasons.

Al-Farouq Aminu signed with the Orlando Magic last offseason for three years, at $29.1 million total. While Barnes is just a bit younger, not enough to matter a ton here, they are all similar players.

If not the exact same skillsets, they all fill similar roles as auxiliary forwards who play defense, hit the boards, do the dirty work, and hopefully knock down an open three when they get the opportunity.

If Jae Crowder wants to remain in Miami, as you would hope he does and if the Miami Heat would like to keep him around, which you would hope they do, this stretch to close the regular season and progress into the postseason will help determine exactly where he fits in their salary hierarchy moving forward.

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While he likely won’t get the $20 plus million per season that Barnes got, he could easily see upwards of $14 per year. That is why these next few games to close the regular season, as well as those he plays in the postseason for the Miami Heat in the coming weeks, will be the most important games of his life, at the moment.