Portland Trail Blazers

Nets Await Decision On Crabbe; Knee Concerns Hurt Ezeli's Value

The Blazers will have until Sunday at 8:59 p.m. Portland time — or 11:59 p.m. Brooklyn time — to decide whether to match the Nets’ offer sheet for Allen Crabbe, tweets Jason Quick of CSNNW. Crabbe, a restricted free agent, signed a four-year, $75MM offer from the Nets on Thursday. League rules give the Blazers three days to decide whether to match, and GM Neil Olshey isn’t offering any clues about his decision. (Twitter link). Crabbe is coming off his best NBA season, averaging 10.3 points in 81 games.

  • Festus Ezeli‘s deal with the Blazers contained less money than expected because of concerns about his knees, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. The former Warriors center signed a two-year, $16MM contract with Portland on Friday, with a team option for the second season. Ezeli had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in February, and a source told Spears that teams are worried about his durability.

Allen Crabbe Offer Sheet Details

  • Allen Crabbe‘s offer sheet with the Nets is worth $18.5MM in its first, second, and fourth years, with a third-year salary of $19.3MM, according to Pincus (Twitter links). The deal, which the Trail Blazers could match, also has a fourth-year player option, a 15% trade kicker, and “significant payment advances.”

Blazers Sign Festus Ezeli

FRIDAY, 10:04am: The Blazers have made their deal with Ezeli official, announcing the signing in a press release.

THURSDAY, 8:36pm: The Trail Blazers and unrestricted free agent Festus Ezeli have come to an agreement on a contract, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (on Twitter). It will be a two-year deal worth $16MM, Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated tweets. The arrangement includes a team option for the second year, Spears adds (via Twitter). Ezeli became an unrestricted free agent after the Warriors renounced his rights earlier this week. He met with team officials on Wednesday in Portland, where things apparently went well.

It remains to be seen what effect inking Ezeli will have on the team’s dealings with restricted free agent Allen Crabbe. The swingman reportedly agreed to a four-year, $70MM offer sheet from the Nets, but a later report noted that no offer had been made. With Brooklyn signing Heat restricted free agent Tyler Johnson to a $50MM offer sheet, it’s unclear if Crabbe remains in the Nets’ plans, or is now viewed as a fallback option if Miami matches the offer to Johnson.

Ezeli saw only 16.7 minutes per game last season, but he made the most of his time, sporting a 17.7 player efficiency rating and averaging 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds.

Trail Blazers Waive Cliff Alexander

The Trail Blazers have waived power forward Cliff Alexander, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). The move was required for Portland to free up the cap room necessary to sign Festus Ezeli without losing the rights to key restricted free agents.

Alexander, 20, signed with the Blazers as an undrafted rookie out of Kansas last July, but only saw action in eight games for the club during the 2015/16 season, playing a total of 36 minutes. Alexander’s contract had originally called for his 2016/17 salary to become guaranteed on June 30, but Portland pushed that guarantee date back to July 25, meaning the team won’t be on the hook for his cap hit for the coming season.

Per Jason Quick of CSNNW.com (via Twitter), assuming Alexander isn’t claimed off waivers by another team, the Blazers say he will be welcome to continue playing with their Summer League team this month.

Meanwhile, the Blazers also still face decisions on their three restricted free agents. Allen Crabbe has agreed to a huge four-year offer sheet with the Nets that Portland has three days to match, while Meyers Leonard and Maurice Harkless still remain unsigned.

And-Ones: Zubac, Sanders, Zizic

The Lakers have officially signed center Ivica Zubac to his first NBA contract, the team announced. The 19-year-old was the No. 32 overall pick in this year’s draft after spending last season with Mega Leks, where he averaged 10.9 points and 5.1 rebounds as the team made the Serbian League semi-finals.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Celtics have informed Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko that they won’t be waived in advance of their contracts becoming fully guaranteed for next season, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com tweets. Johnson is set to earn $12MM in 2016/17 and Jerebko will make $5MM.
  • Celtics team president Danny Ainge said that No. 23 overall pick Ante Zizic will remain overseas next season, adding that no decision has been made regarding No. 16 overall pick Guerschon Yabusele, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com relays (on Twitter).
  • Blazers executive Neil Olshey noted this free agent class was light on players who could be considered starters on contending teams, Jason Quick of CSNNW.com relays (via Twitter). “We thought it was a fairly thin market for impact level players, guys capable of starting on a playoff caliber team,” Olshey said.
  • Former NBA player Larry Sanders has been working out in California and several teams have shown interest in him, Alex Kennedy of Basketball nsiders tweets. The big man remains open to the idea of an NBA comeback, Kennedy adds. The 27-year-old last  played in the NBA during the 2014/15 season.

Allen Crabbe Signs Offer Sheet With Nets

Kyle Terada / USA Today Sports Images

Kyle Terada / USA Today Sports Images

JULY 7th, 10:14pm: Crabbe has signed an offer sheet with the Nets worth $75MM over four years, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (via Twitter). There are performance bonuses included that can up the value of the agreement to $83MM, the scribe adds.

6:47pm: The offer to Crabbe is being refuted, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. Crabbe will meet with the Nets on Tuesday to discuss a contract, but apparently no offer has been made.

JULY 3rd, 6:22pm: Allen Crabbe will receive a four-year, $70MM offer sheet from the Nets, tweets international journalist David Pick. He adds that Portland doesn’t plan to match the offer for the restricted free agent.

The third-year shooting guard had a breakthrough season this year as a Trail Blazers reserve. He appeared in 81 games and averaged 10.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per night while shooting 39% from beyond the arc.

It has been a busy three days for the Nets who have also added Jeremy Lin, Justin Hamilton and Trevor Booker, while making a $50MM offer to Tyler Johnson.

Blazers Ink Second-Round Pick Jake Layman

11:59am: Layman’s three-year deal with the Blazers will be worth $600K in 2016/17, with subsequent salaries of $905K and $1.1MM, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Per Pincus, the final year will be non-guaranteed.

JULY 7, 12:30am: The deal is official, the team announced.

JULY 6, 9:48pm: The Trail Blazers have come to terms with 2016 second-rounder Jake Layman on a contract, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (via Twitter). It’s a three-year deal worth approximately $2.7MM and the first two seasons are fully guaranteed, Joe Freeman of The Oregonian relays.

Portland acquired the forward’s rights in a draft night trade with the Magic, shipping them $1.MM in cash and a 2019 second-round pick in exchange for the No. 47 overall selection.

Layman, 22, appeared in 36 games for Maryland in 2016/16, averaging 11.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 31.4 minutes per night. His shooting line was .500/.396/.832.

Blazers, Magic Finalize Shabazz Napier Trade

THURSDAY, 10:26am: The Magic announced today in a press release that they’ve acquired cash considerations from the Blazers in exchange for Napier.

TUESDAY, 12:08pm: The Magic are finalizing a trade that will send point guard Shabazz Napier to the Trail Blazers in exchange for cash considerations, reports Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. The deal can’t become official until Thursday, at the earliest.

Napier, who will turn 25 next week, was the 24th overall pick in the 2014 draft, and spent his rookie year with the Heat. He was a rotation piece for most of that season, averaging nearly 20 minutes per contest. However, Miami sent him to the Magic last summer for a heavily-protected second-round pick, and he saw his role reduced in Orlando, averaging just 10.9 minutes per game in 55 appearances.

[RELATED: Magic and Trail Blazers depth charts at RosterResource.com]

With Elfrid Payton penciled in as the Magic’ starting point guard, C.J. Watson still in the mix, and D.J. Augustin set to sign with the team as a free agent, there was no room left in the rotation for Napier heading into next season, making him expendable.

The Trail Blazers, meanwhile, have utilized primary shooting guard C.J. McCollum as a alternative to Damian Lillard at the point, but the team doesn’t really have another backup point guard on the roster with Brian Roberts eligible for free agency. Napier will add depth at the position.

Blazers Meet With Festus Ezeli

The Blazers are meeting with Festus Ezeli today in Portland, according to Marc. J Spears of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Ezeli arrived in Portland wearing red and black and told Jason Quick of Comcast Sportsnet that the team has “something brewing here,” as Quick passes along via Twitter.

Portland has already agreed to a four-year deal worth roughly $70MM with Evan Turner. It also has maintained that it would match any offer for Allen Crabbe, but it’s not clear whether or not they will match the reported $70MM deal that Crabbe reportedly agreed to with the Nets. An Ezeli signing could indicate that the Blazers don’t intend to match Crabbe’s deal since signing all three to significant contracts would require the team to make additional moves, although that is merely my speculation.

Ezeli became an unrestricted free agent after the Warriors renounced his rights earlier this week. He saw only 16.7 minutes per game last season, but he impressed, sporting a 17.7 player efficiency rating while shooting 54.8% from the field.

Hornets To Sign Brian Roberts

Nick Turchiaro / USA TODAY Sports Images

Nick Turchiaro / USA TODAY Sports Images

Brian Roberts will return to the Hornets as a reserve point guard, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. The 30-year-old will receive a veteran’s minimum contract.

Roberts spent a season and a half in Charlotte before being traded twice in February. The Hornets sent him to the Heat on February 16th in a three-team deal that brought back Courtney Lee, and Miami shipped him to the Blazers in a cap-clearing move two days later.

Roberts appeared in 30 games last season with the Hornets, averaging 4.8 points and 1.3 assists in 11.1 minutes per night. His playing time was cut almost in half in Portland, and his per-game averages dropped to 2.9 points and 0.8 assists.

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