The Hawks made another sneaky good move on Thursday, trading Taurean Prince and a 2021 second-round pick to the Brooklyn Nets for Allen Crabbe, the 17th pick in this year’s draft and a 2020 protected (top-14) first-round pick.
The decision for Brooklyn was easy. Their main priority was opening up cap space for two max players. We know they are a rumored popular landing spot for Kyrie Irving and will be pursuing other stars like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leanord, and Anthony Davis. The only way they could do that is by finding a spot for Allen Crabbe’s contract, which is in its final season and scheduled to pay him $18.5 million. There aren’t too many teams willing to take on that kind of money unless it is for a superstar – and Crabbe is no superstar.
The 2016 offseason was the Wild Wild West. The cap was rising and expected to continue to rise; everybody had money, and nobody was shy about spending it freely. Timofey Mozgov received four years and $64 million. Luol Deng at the tail end of his career made bank. Our very own Kent Bazemore received a 4-year/$70 million dollar deal that essentially forced the Hawks to reboot.
Allen Crabbe was also one of these contracts. He signed a 4-year/$75 million offer sheet with the Nets – only to have it matched by the Trail Blazers. Then a year later – like with most of these contracts – the Blazers experienced buyer’s remorse. Luckily, Brooklyn was still infatuated with Crabbe and traded Andrew Nicholson for him straight up. It didn’t take the Nets long to regret that decision.
In his two years with Brooklyn, Crabbe failed to shoot 40% from the field. He did make 37.8% of his three-pointers, which has been his specialty over his career. Crabbe is a career 39.3% three-point shooter on 4.3 attempts per game. He’s an able passer and doesn’t turn the ball over. Throw out the fact that he has perhaps the worst contract in the NBA, and he can be a contributor to the Hawks second unit. This will likely be a one-year thing unless he impresses enough to earn a second contract in Atlanta – at a much more affordable rate obviously. The change of scenery might help him, and playing in a system that emphasizes shooting should maximize his skill set.
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