What happened? Shams Charania of The Athletic had the details.
Multiple league sources said the Suns recently engaged in three-team talks that would have sent Crowder to Milwaukee, four Bucks second-round draft picks along with players to Houston, and Eric Gordon and/or Kenyon Martin Jr. to Phoenix. The hold up in the potential three-teamer was that the Rockets are coveting one first-round pick for Gordon, and for Martin a very good first-rounder, not a batch of second-rounders, according to sources. The Rockets have had interest in Gordon from several contending teams, sources said, but appear less willing to entertain the topic of Martin.
This is not uncommon, the leg work on a potential trade gets worked out by members of the front office, but when it comes time to run the deal past the team president or owner for final approval, suddenly the demands change. Whether this is Houston using the stall (and leak) as a negotiating tactic or if there was a genuine change is up for debate, but this version of the deal never went through.
The Bucks, at 19-7, may want Crowder but are not going to feel pressure to make a deal right now. The Suns know there is still interest from the Hawks and Heat (although it’s tough to construct any reasonable trade for Miami until after Jan. 15, when some of their summer signings become available). There is no pressure to get the deal done.
Yet. That’s what the trade deadline is for, to ramp up that pressure. It may not be until Feb. 9, but that pressure will start to build on Dec. 15 when many of the players signed this summer become available to trade (others have to wait another month, depending on the kind of deal they signed). For now, we wait.