The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Jae Crowder with the 34th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft. He was acquired by the Mavericks in a draft night deal, along with the draft rights to 24th overall pick Jared Cunningham and 27-year-old rookie Benard James in exchange for guard Kelenna Azubuike and the draft rights to the 17th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Tyler Zeller. Crowder, 22, had a great summer league, averaging 16.6 points, 2 steals, and racked up 6 rebounds. Crowder was later named to the All-Summer league team, along with a trio of first round draft picks Terrence Jones, Damian Lillard, and Bradley Beal. If Crowder wants to contribute widely to the Mavericks rotation this season he needs to improve his mid-range game, passing ability, and look more on taking advantage of smaller wing’s in the post. Remember, Crowder is 6 ft 6 and is roughly 235 pounds and has decent footwork and possesses a strength that rarely a Small Forward brings but sometimes Crowder gets too in love with his jump shot. Pulling up off the dribble is something Crowder has to improve if he wants to be a key contributor in Coach Carlisle’s rotation. For Crowders size and strength he can play perimeter defense to the best of them. Terence Ross, a recent first round selection by the Toronto Raptors struggled brutally when being guarded by Crowder in summer league action, shooting only 20 % and shooting 60 % when be guarded by someone else.
” Crowder was the Player of the Year in the Big East. That’s a big deal. We feel he’s a multi-position player. He’s rugged, tough-minded, hard-nosed. We wanted to get some hard-playing, energetic guys in this draft to continue to work that culture here. High character kids who play hard and want to do things the right way,” current head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, Rick Carlisle raved on Mavericks selecting tough-minded Crowder. With the signing of OJ Mayo and the decision to bring veteran Vince Carter back, Crowder is projected to be behind both Marion and Carter on the depth chart thus far at the Small Forward position. Crowder, who is sought out to be very versatile coming out of Marquette, can sometimes play Power Forward with his stellar rebounding ability. Although he lacks the size we all know Coach Carlisle likes front court players that can stretch out the floor. All Crowder has to do now is leave it out all there on the court and battle every rookie migraine that comes his way throughout the season . I think Jae Crowder has a legitimate shot on cracking the Mavericks rotation and with the Mavericks roster that consists of 10 players being under the age of 30, I expect a much more faster pace as the game progresses and that of course will likely happen due to the addition of Darren Collison, Via sign & Trade. Last season Carlisle had a tough time finding the right identity with this team and that of course is implemented on the teams injury problems last season. Mavericks think they hit a home run with their 2nd round selection, Jae Crowder, now it all determines if Crowder can fit with the unknown rotation Coach Carlisle has in place.