The Portland Trail Blazers traded Allen Crabbe to the Brooklyn Nets for forward Andrew Nicholson on Tuesday. Nicholson is set to be waived by Portland, creating significant salary relief for the Blazers. The Nets receive a player they signed to an offer sheet in restricted free agency just a year ago.
What did the pundits have to say?
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to break the news:
Portland has traded Allen Crabbe to Brooklyn for Andrew Nicholson, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 25, 2017
The trade was later confirmed by both teams:
After trading for Crabbe's draft rights four years ago, the Blazers now part ways with a player groomed under coach Terry Stotts. While it appears Portland is not in a better position to win games on the court next season, the team certainly didn't hurt its financial situation moving forward.
Bobby Marks of ESPN explains how the Blazers’ decision to trade Crabbe and waive Nicholson provides President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey with some tangible advantages going forward:
Portland will see their current luxury tax bill drop from $48.3M to $4.4M with the Allen Crabbe trade to Brooklyn. The Trail Blazers now have $122.2M in salary and are $2.9M below the luxury tax. The Trail Blazers currently project to save $60M in salary and taxes for 2017-18.
Along with immediate luxury tax savings, Marks also points to two other important benefits the Blazers gained:
The stretch on Nicholson helps with the Jusuf Nurkic pending 2018 FA (or rookie extension). Portland has $110M committed in 2018-19.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 25, 2017
Portland will also generate a $12.9M trade exception that will expire next summer.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 25, 2017
With the $12.9-million trade exception, Portland trails only Chicago for largest available exception. Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors explains how teams in the Blazers' situation will likely use their trade exceptions moving forward:
While some of these TPEs are quite sizable, there’s a good chance that most of them will go unused. Many of the clubs on this list are near or above the luxury tax threshold, and will be reluctant to acquire an expensive player without dumping any salary as part of the deal.
The Blazers, Raptors, Clippers, Bucks, Thunder, and Cavaliers all fit that bill, though some of those clubs may be willing to bite the tax-penalty bullet, while others could wait until next July when some contracts expire to use their respective TPEs.
Due in large part to the salary cap flexibility gained by the Blazers, several experts view Portland as the "winners" of this trade. Kevin Pelton of ESPN handed out grades in the aftermath of the deal, giving the Nets a D+, while the Blazers received a B+.
Along with the trade grades, Pelton had this to say about the Blazers' decision:
How much the loss of Crabbe will hurt the Blazers on the court remains to be seen, but the financial benefits are obvious and extend beyond this season. Portland is currently under the 2018-19 tax line, but that's with just nine players under contract -- a group that doesn't include starting center Jusuf Nurkic, who will be a restricted free agent next summer if he doesn't agree to an extension of his bargain rookie contract first.
The luxury tax will likely still be a concern for the Blazers going forward, but not nearly as onerous as with Crabbe on the roster.
Outside of instant reaction, NBC Sports' Dane Carbaugh provided some perspective on Crabbe's initial extension leading to his eventual trade:
To understand the Crabbe trade in context, you have to go back to last summer. Portland was in the hunt for several big name players, including Pau Gasol, Hassan Whiteside, and Chandler Parsons.
Portland, never a big free agent destination, missed out on all three, instead having to panic at the last second. The Nets extended a huge offer sheet to Crabbe on July 7, the same day that Portland agreed to a similarly huge contract with Evan Turner.
To get more thoughts on the move, check out the following reactions:
- Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily: Nets Acquire Allen Crabbe for Andrew Nicholson
- Mike Richman of The Oregonian: Trail Blazers trade Allen Crabbe to Brooklyn Nets
- Gerald Bourguet of Hoops Habit: NBA Trade Grades: Portland Trail Blazers dump Allen Crabbe to Brooklyn Nets
- Jared Cowley of KGW: Trade analysis: Crabbe deal a winner for Blazers
- Paolo Uggetti of The Ringer: Allen Crabbe Is Heading to Brooklyn
The Blazers now have an open roster spot after waiving-and-stretching Nicholson, and still have the ability to part-ways with Pat Connaughton after both sides agreed to postpone a decision on his contract future earlier this week.
What do you think? Did the Trail Blazers come out on top in this trade?
Did the Blazers "win" the trade with the Nets?
This poll is closed
Not yet - Portland still has to make another move