The Portland Trail Blazers have one of the most expensive payrolls in the NBA and they just made a move to relieve some of their cap worries.
The Portland Trail Blazers agreed to trade Allen Crabbe to the Brooklyn Nets for Andrew Nicholson, whose contract Portland plans to waive and stretch. ESPN’s Bobby Marks reports Nicholson will have a $2.8 million cap hit over the next seven years for the Blazers.
Nicholson will count as dead money against the cap for the Portland front office.
Because the Nets traded Nicholson and no longer have to pay his $6 million annual contract, their front office turned Crabbe from a player who costs $18 million per season into one who costs $12 million.
As Danny Chau wrote, this is how Nets general manager Sean Marks has helped rebuild the team (via The Ringer):
[Brooklyn has] become willing accomplices for teams eager to get rid of a body in exchange for assets. That, more than anything, has laid the foundation for how the Nets have crawled out of no-man’s-land.
The move was a necessary evil for Portland considering how costly the tax bill would have been to keep Crabbe. To retain him on the roster would have cost an estimated additional $40 million. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks noted, Portland will also acquire a $12.9 million trade exception that will expire next summer.
This helps provide their front office with more money to afford Jusuf Nurkic when he requires an extension next offseason.
During the 2016 offseason, the Nets extended a $75 million offer sheet to Crabbe, but the Trail Blazers matched. He will now provide additional depth at guard with Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell in the backcourt.
The former Cal guard waived his $5.7 million trade kicker for the Nets (which they included in their offer sheet to him last offseason) as part of the deal.
Expect Crabbe to play as the primary backup shooting guard for Brooklyn next season. They are currently $3.5 million under the cap.