Brooklyn Nets

Nets To Acquire Allen Crabbe From Blazers

A year after aggressively pursuing shooting guard Allen Crabbe as a restricted free agent, the Nets have landed their man. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link), the Trail Blazers are trading Crabbe to Brooklyn in exchange for forward Andrew Nicholson. Upon acquiring Nicholson, Portland will waive him and stretch his contract, Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter).Allen Crabbe vertical

When Crabbe reached restricted free agency in 2016, he was one of a handful of players to sign an offer sheet with the Nets. That deal, worth nearly $75MM over four years, looked like an awfully steep price to pay for a player with 17 career starts to his name. However, the Blazers thwarted Brooklyn’s attempts to poach Crabbe, matching the Nets’ offer sheet and bringing him back to Portland.

A year later, that decision to match Crabbe’s deal – while retaining other RFAs and adding Evan Turner – looks like it may have been a mistake. The Trail Blazers were in position to pay a huge tax penalty in 2018 if team salary remained as high as it was, and dumping a contract or two appeared to be an inevitability. By swapping Crabbe for Nicholson and stretching the $19MM+ left on Nicholson’s contract over the next seven seasons, the Blazers will clear approximately $16.5MM from their 2017/18 cap, ending up only about $3MM above the tax threshold.

It remains to be seen if the Blazers have another move up their sleeves — the club has been linked to Carmelo Anthony, despite Carmelo’s apparent unwillingness to waive his no-trade clause and accept a deal to Portland. Even if no second deal is coming though, the Blazers should be happy with this trade from a financial perspective. It will allow the club to shed more than $50MM in total projected salary and tax penalties.

From the Nets’ perspective, the deal will allow them to land a player they loved at a slightly lesser cost, albeit a year after they had hoped to acquire him. Once the Blazers matched Crabbe’s offer sheet last July, he was ineligible to be traded to Brooklyn for a full year, but once those 365 days passed, it made sense for the two teams to engage on trade discussions.

By sending out Nicholson in the swap, the Nets appear to have the cap room necessary to absorb Crabbe’s salary without having to make any corresponding roster moves. According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Crabbe also waived his trade kicker, making things a little simpler for both teams. That decision will cost the 25-year-old some money, but he’ll have a chance to assume a larger role in Brooklyn than he had in Portland.

In 79 games last season for the Blazers, Crabbe set new career bests with 10.7 PPG, 2.9 RPG, a .468 FG%, and a .444 3PT%. While it remains to be seen how Brooklyn’s starting lineup will shake out, Crabbe figures to see plenty of minutes alongside D’Angelo Russell in a new-look Nets backcourt.

The Blazers will generate a trade exception worth $12,969,502 in the deal. That figures represents the difference between Crabbe’s and Nicholson’s salaries for 2017/18.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Kyrie Irving

There’s little chance that the Cavaliers will salvage their relationship with Kyrie Irving, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who says the team is “acting as if a trade is almost inevitable.” Per Lowe, the Cavs also seem confident that they’ll be able to land a significant haul for Irving, despite the fact that stars like DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George, and Jimmy Butler have returned underwhelming hauls so far this year.

Lowe’s latest piece on Irving explores possible trade scenarios involving the Suns, Celtics, Heat, Knicks, Hawks, Bucks, Nuggets, Timberwolves, Pelicans, and more. While many of those proposed scenarios appear to be speculation on Lowe’s part, they give the impression that the Cavs certainly won’t be limiting themselves to Irving’s reported wish list of four teams as they seek out the best possible deal.

Here’s more from Lowe, along with other updates on Irving:

  • The Cavaliers‘ highest priority in an Irving trade is to get a “blue-chip” young player in return, sources tell Lowe. Cleveland’s ideal scenario would be a deal that nets the club that blue-chip player, plus a veteran or two, plus draft picks. In other words, the Cavs are aiming for a trade package that provides the best of both worlds — players that can help the team contend for a championship in the short term, and valuable long-term assets.
  • Since Irving made his trade request, the Cavaliers‘ front office has studied every trade involving a star player over the last decade, per Lowe. One particular deal that caught the club’s eye was the one that sent Goran Dragic from Phoenix to Miami for a package that included multiple first-round picks.
  • Many teams, including the Celtics, have called the Cavaliers to let them know they want to be kept in the loop as trade talks progress, writes Lowe.
  • The Nets still have a chunk of salary cap room remaining and could be an interesting trade partner in a multi-team scenario, but there have been no rumblings yet about their potential participation, according to Lowe.
  • The Kings have no interest in moving De’Aaron Fox in a deal for Irving, reports James Ham of CSNBayArea.com.
  • One Western Conference team executive tells Chris Mannix of The Vertical that he thinks the Cavaliers may end up having to wait until after December 15 to make a deal, after this year’s free agent signees become trade-eligible. If that happens, it might create an awkward few months in Cleveland, with Irving still on the roster when the season begins.

Nets Interested In Jared Sullinger?

The Nets are in attendance at The Basketball Tournament in order to evaluate Jared Sullinger, according to ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla (h/t Eleven Warriors’ Dan Hope).

Sullinger said he was aware of the Brooklyn’s presence, but wasn’t putting much stock into it. “I didn’t pay attention to it,” said Sullinger (via Net Income of SB Nation). “But I am unemployed at the moment. So just trying to get a job.”

Evan Turner, who played alongside the big man at Ohio State, was also in attendance Sullinger’s game. Turner believes the 25-year-old free agent deserves another chance in the NBA. “The numbers say enough,” said Turner of Sullinger’s game over the weekend. “21 points, 50 percent from the field, 50 percent from the three, all five free throws, nine rebounds, four assists, one turnover for a big man.”

Sullinger signed a one-year, $6MM deal with Toronto last offseason before injuring his foot during the preseason. He was only able to suit up in 11 games for the Raptors and the franchise dealt him to the Suns at the trade deadline. Phoenix subsequently waived him.

Weight has been an issue for Sullinger during his career, but he’s reportedly eating vegan, which has helped him manage this area. The power forward recently told Rob Oller of The Columbus Dispatch that he has this issue under control.

Jared Sullinger Eyes NBA Comeback

Jared Sullinger, who was cut by the Suns in February, is looking to return to the NBA. This weekend Sullinger will display his skills and recent weight loss in Brooklyn at The Basketball Tournament, with several professional teams in attendance, including the Nets, Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors (link via Twitter) passes along, from the mouth of Fran Fraschilla.

Rob Oller of The Columbus Dispatch interviewed Sullinger about the power forward’s struggles, progress, and aspirations. Sully says he weighed as much as 320 pounds when he was with the Celtics“I lost a year of basketball directly because of what I have done — my weight and my eating habits,” he said. Sullinger explained that his unwillingness to lose weight led Boston to release him in 2016 and the Raptors to trade him to Phoenix in late February. The Suns released him the next day.

Sullinger has now been a vegan for three weeks and is down to a svelte 285 pounds. The grand prize of The Basketball Tournament for many is $2MM, but for Sullinger, the true treasure could be an NBA or overseas contract.

In five NBA seasons, the Ohio State product has averaged 10.8 PPG and 7.5 RPG. In two consecutive seasons for the Celtics, Sully averaged a career-high 13.3 points per contest.

DeMarre Carroll Looks Forward To 'Team-Ball'

  • Recently acquired Nets forward DeMarre Carroll took another shot at the Raptors, telling Brian Lewis of the New York Post in so many words that the roster in Toronto just isn’t built to share the ball. “I had my share of iso already, so team-ball is my forte,” Carroll said. “You got two great All-Stars, two great players. That’s how they play. They were playing that way before I came, and they’re going to be playing that way long after I leave. They’re not changing that for me.

Nets Sign Guard Yakuba Ouattara To Two-Way Contract

The Nets have signed guard Yakuba Ouattara to a two-way contract, according to a team press release.

The 6’3” Ouattara played for AS Monaco Basketball in the French LNB Pro A League last season. He appeared in 32 games and averaged 11.8 PPG and 3.3 RPG in 23.9 MPG. Ouattara is a prolific 3-point shooter, as he shot 40% from long range and 51.4% overall.

Ouattara, 25, is a Ghana native but a member of the French national team. He has spent his entire professional career, which began in 2012, in France.

Teams are allowed to dole out a pair of two-way contracts per season and the Nets reportedly gave their other two-way deal to forward Jacob Wiley.

Nets Sign First-Rounder Jarrett Allen

The Nets have officially signed rookie big man Jarrett Allen to his first NBA contract, the team announced today in a press release. The former Texas Longhorn was the 22nd overall pick in last month’s draft.

Like his fellow first-rounders, Allen will receive a four-year contract that features two fully guaranteed seasons, follow by a pair of team options on years three and four. Assuming he signed for the full amount allowed by the NBA’s rookie scale and plays out the four-year deal, Allen will earn just over $10MM over the life of the contract.

[RELATED: Rookie contracts for 2017 first-round picks]

With Allen now under contract, all but two of this year’s first-round picks have signed their rookie deals, as our tracker shows. Thunder swingman Terrance Ferguson and Sixers center Anzejs Pasecniks are the only two first-rounders who haven’t inked NBA deals. Pasecniks is set to play overseas for at least one more year, while the delay on Ferguson may be related to FIBA clearance, following his time in Australia.

Atlantic Notes: Lin, Nets, Valanciunas, Miller, Raptors, Jackson, Celtics

Jeremy Lin boldly stated that his Nets will make the playoffs this upcoming season while answering questions from fans in an Instagram Live video, relays A.J. Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today Sports.

“We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says to me,” said Lin. He went on to say, “We’re gonna do some serious damage next year… I’m pretty sure he’ll (D’Angelo Russell) start (at shooting guard), but it will be pretty interchangeable. And then when one of us is out of the game, the other person most likely will have the ball in their hands. It will probably be a little bit combo guard-esque.”

This offseason the Nets have added Russell, as well as DeMarre Carroll and Timofey Mozgov. Brooklyn will be coming off a season in which it finished 20-62, dead last in the NBA standings. Lin played in just 36 games due to injury, but averaged a furtive 14.5 PPG to go with 5.1 APG and 3.8 RPG. Furthermore, Lin managed to put up those strong numbers in a mere 24.5 minutes per contest.

  • Raptors president Masai Ujiri addressed rumors that the team is trying to unload center Jonas Valanciunas, via Josh Lewenberg of The Sports Network. Ujiri said that he believes in Valanciunas’ talent and values his offensive rebounding. While admitting that the team looked at trading Valanciunas when they were in the tax, the team is now “very comfortable” keeping JV.
  • Raptors guard Malcolm Miller underwent right ankle surgery, the team announced via press release (link via Twitter). Miller is expected to miss the next 12 weeks. He signed the team’s first two-way contract on July 9.
  • Also via Josh Lewenberg of The Sports Network, the Raptors president says the team will “add a couple of different players. Maybe they’re non-guarantees, I don’t know.”
  • The Celtics employed a creative use of the stretch provision on the contract of Demetrius Jackson, reports Bobby Marks of ESPN. A day prior to waiving the former Notre Dame guard, Boston exercised the 2019/20 non-guaranteed team option on Jackson. This allowed Boston to stretch the contract over seven years rather than five, lowering the cap hit per year to $92,857 instead of $130,000.

Jacob Wiley's Long Road To The NBA

  • Now signed to a two-way contract with the Nets, recently acquired Jacob Wiley has an opportunity he never envisioned as recently as six months ago. Brian Lewis of the New York Post has penned an excellent feature on the forward’s tumultuous path.

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Nets, Raptors

The Knicks have, at least for now, pulled Carmelo Anthony from the trading block and are not actively shopping their All-Star scorer. If the Knicks really wanted to trade Anthony, the team could have sent him to the Rockets if taking Ryan Anderson‘s contract in return was not a hurdle. As Frank Isola of the New York Daily News writes, dealing Anthony for a player who does less on the court and guaranteed more money the next three years is not a wise move.

Anthony, 33, has two years, $54MM left on his deal whereas Anderson, 29, has three years, $61MM left. Reports have suggested the Knicks are seeking a third, possibly fourth, team to complete a deal. After naming Steve Mills president and acquiring Scott Perry from the Kings to be the team’s new general manager, it’s clear that New York is going in a new direction. Owner James Dolan said as much in a statement regarding the team’s new hire.

“Today marks a culture change for our organization where we reestablish the pride, work ethic and responsibility that comes with playing for the Knicks and representing New York,” Dolan said (via ESPN). “I’m confident that Steve is the right person to take on this role, and ensure that we return to one of the elite teams of the NBA. He’s got an ambitious plan that centers on building a young team focused on player development, communication and teamwork.”

The Knicks still have an abundance of options with Anthony: They can hold onto Anthony and hope he plays well and trade him midseason if the team is out of contention; keep pursuing trades until the team finds a good fit; and, less ideally, buyout Anthony for cap relief. It’s a complicated situation for all and Anthony, with his no-trade clause and trade kicker, has all the power.

Here are additional notes around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets have 10 guards in their organization and acquiring additional size this offseason remains a priority, per Fred Kerber of the New York Post. Kerber mentions Shabazz Muhammad and JaMychal Green as possible targets for Brooklyn as the team continues its search for upgrades in the frontcourt.
  • One of the newest Nets, DeMarre Carroll, tells Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun that he expected a trade this offseason. In the candid interview, Caroll discussed why he did not fit into the Raptors’ offense the way he imagined and why it became frustrating playing for the team.
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