2. Nets couldn’t move Crabbe’s option year
According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, the Brooklyn Nets had discussions — however brief — with the Memphis Grizzlies that would have moved Allen Crabbe and his $18.5 million player option for next season to Grind City along with the top-12 protected 2019 first-round pick of the Denver Nuggets.
The Nets would have taken back the expiring contracts of wing Garrett Temple and power forward JaMychal Green and freed up another $18.5 million under next year’s cap, opening the max available total to $69.91 million.
But Memphis, clearly committed to a rebuild after shopping Mike Conley and dealing Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors, opted to send Temple and Green to the LA Clippers for Avery Bradley, whose $12.96 million cap hit for 2019-20 includes just a $2 million guarantee if waived by July 3.
That could have been an attractive move for the Nets on a couple of levels.
Crabbe had been shooting well before he was injured and is 6-for-11 from 3-point range in two games back from a knee injury, but that player option for $18.5 million next season creates a dilemma for Brooklyn’s cap situation next season.
Green, meanwhile, would have been a decent stretch big option for the Nets. He’s a 6-foot-9, 227-pound true 4 who had shot 39.6 percent on 2.3 3-point attempts per game in 41 games for the Grizzlies this season, while averaging 9.8 points and 6.1 rebounds in 22.0 minutes a night.
The fact Nets general manager Sean Marks was willing to discuss the Denver first-rounder shows how valuable he believes cap space will be this summer, because most of his strategy since taking the job in February 2016 has been to try and accumulate future picks.
Because, as we’ll get into on the next page, the Nets have some momentum entering free agency, but it’s … complicated.