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The Portland Trail Blazers have matched the Brooklyn Nets’ four-year, $75 million offer sheet to restricted free-agent guard Allen Crabbe, clearing the way for his return to the Blazers’ roster, league sources told The Vertical.
The offer sheet was a daring play by the Nets for a 24-year-old reserve guard, and the Blazers’ match speaks to Portland ownership and management’s commitment to build upon the franchise’s Western Conference semifinal berth in 2016.
The Blazers have constructed a deep, versatile and talented team to try to make another move up in the Western Conference.
The deal includes a fourth-year player option and a trade kicker that could make the contract ultimately worth $83 million, league sources said.
Crabbe has played behind 2016 NBA Most Improved Player C.J. McCollum in the Blazers’ star backcourt that includes All-Star Damian Lillard. Crabbe’s ability to shoot and defend his position were the primary reasons why the Blazers were unwilling to lose him for nothing.
Portland general manager Neil Olshey has been aggressive in improving his roster and preserving its own assets in free agency. Portland signed free-agent forward Evan Turner to a four-year, $70 million contract, and free-agent center Festus Ezeli to a two-year, $15 million deal.
Portland’s matching of the Crabbe offer sheet came within hours of restricted free agent Meyers Leonard signing a four-year, $41 million contract extension with the franchise, sources said.
For the Nets, the thwarted bid to sign Crabbe leaves them awaiting Miami’s decision later Sunday on whether the Heat will match a four-year, $50 million offer sheet to restricted free-agent guard Tyler Johnson. The Heat have been giving indications that the orderly signings of Derrick Williams, Udonis Haslem and Wayne Ellington are being sequenced to facilitate the salary cap machinations of a match on Johnson. Nevertheless, Miami has until late Sunday night to notify the NBA on the match.
Nets general manager Sean Marks, devoid of first-round picks in coming years, has tried to be creative in bringing young talent into the organization.
Olshey drafted Crabbe with the 31st overall pick in the 2013 draft and watched his coach, Terry Stotts, develop him into a rotation player who averaged 26 minutes a game last season.