One year later Allen Crabbe is Brooklyn bound

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 1: Allen Crabbe
PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 1: Allen Crabbe /

If at first you don’t succeed . . . try a trade. Such was the philosophy behind Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks’ acquisition of Allen Crabbe from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Andrew Nicholson.

Crabbe was the object of the Nets’ affection last off-season when Marks attempted to sign the shooting guard as a restricted free agent. Portland matched the offer. This time Marks got his man in what looks like a salary dump on Portland’s behalf.

Salary dump or not, Crabbe fits the one criteria Marks and head coach Kenny Atkinson were looking for this offseason. He has talent.

How Crabbe fits

Crabbe’s game is similar to that of former New York Knick Allan Houston. His strongest skill, like Houston, is perimeter shooting. He immediately becomes the Nets biggest threat from beyond the arc. Crabbe’s 44.4% shooting percentage from three point land was better than any Net from a season ago.

While Crabbe did not have the break out year many thought he would last season, he is heading in the right direction. In his fourth NBA season, Crabbe saw upticks in field goal percentage (46.8%), points-per-game (10.7) and rebound-per-game (2.9).

With high volume scorers Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum as teammates last season, shots were at a premium for Crabbe. Expect Crabbe to be more assertive on offense as a Net. Don’t be surprised to see the former California Golden Bear set career highs in 2017-18.

Even before Crabbe’s arrival, Brooklyn had an abundance of guards and wings. It is difficult to see the 25-year old not in the starting line-up for the Nets when the season starts.

Once thing is certain, Atkinson has options. He could go offensive and insert the 6-6 Crabbe at small forward, along go with a backcourt of Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell. He could go defensive with a backcourt of Crabbe, Isaiah Whitehead, and Caris LeVert at the three. And lets not forget Sean Kilpatrick, who seems primed for a big season.

With the plethora of wings, Atkinson does not have to commit to a set line-up. He can ride the hot hand in the fourth quarter of games.

Competition is a good thing. If nothing else Brooklyn should have a spirited training camp as several Nets battle for spots in the rotation.

Salary cap implications

Every NBA trade turns journalists into junior accountants as the financial impact of player swaps are now routinely analyzed.

Crabbe becomes the Nets highest paid player at 18.5 million this season. It was reported that Crabbe, to facilitate his trade to the Nets, agreed to forfeit his trade kicker, which would have increased his yearly salary.

Next: Jared Sullinger won't be a Net next season

The trade leaves Marks with roughly four million dollars in cap space and 15 players under contract for 2017-18.  For 2018-19, the Nets have roughly 70 million of guaranteed contracts on the books and approximately 12.7 million in team options.

Crabbe will make $19,332,500 in 2018-19 and has a 18.5 million player option for 2019-20.