After enjoying three solid seasons with the Boston Celtics, Jae Crowder was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the summer in the deal for Kyrie Irving.
However, the small forward failed to adjust to life with the Cavs this year and looked like a shadow of the player that became a lockdown defender and reliable shooter in Boston.
With the Cavaliers’ season in the balance and disharmony in the locker room, Crowder was one of six players traded by the franchise at the deadline last month.
The 27-year-old was offloaded to the Utah Jazz and it didn’t take him long to take a shot at his old team by claiming that he’s already having fun on the floor again with his new teammates.
One of the reasons for this is because of Jazz head coach Quinn Snyder, who he has immediately taken a liking to.
Crowder has fit in well with his new team and has spoken about how he enjoys being part of a system.
He believes the way Snyder operates and sets up his team is similar to his former coach Brad Stevens who got the best out of him during his time with the Celtics.
“He reminds me a lot of Brad Stevens,” Crowder said, per Kyle Goon of the Salt Lake Tribune. “Brad is a very technical-type coach. He wants everything to be crisp and everything to be sharp, and Quin is the same way.”
The Marquette product has once again reiterated how much he’s loving being part of this Jazz team and why Snyder has allowed him to transition so easily.
“It’s a good system to be in, to play freely and play within how he wants to play,” Crowder said of coach Snyder. “It’s fun to be a part of.
“I’m happy to be here and play underneath him. He reminds me a lot of Brad Stevens, and that’s a good trait to have.”
In seven games with Utah, Crowder is averaging some solid numbers off the bench with 13.0 points on 41 percent shooting from the field, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
He played a big role in helping them secure a vital 116-108 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night as he posted 15 points.
The victory keeps them firmly in the playoff hunt as they’re just two games behind the eighth-placed Denver Nuggets with a 32-20 record.
Utah is locked in a real battle with at least six teams to seal a postseason berth for the second straight season and Crowder’s contributions will continue to be huge if they are to break into the top eight.