Crabbe posted 11 points (3-7 FG, 2-2 3Pt, 3-4 FT), a rebound and an assist over 23 minutes in Thursday's 109-108 preseason loss to the Clippers.
Crabbe is the third wheel in the small forward job battle that seems to favor either Evan Turner or Moe Harkless, but the 24-year-old did manage to outscore both Thursday. It was Crabbe's second double-digit scoring effort in four preseason games, with about the only negative coming out of the performance being the five personal fouls he amassed in his relatively modest amount of time on the court. Although he remains in play for the aforementioned starting position, Crabbe's virtually seamless fit into the Blazers' second unit last season will likely steer him into that role once again in the 2016-17 campaign.
Crabbe tallied nine points (3-8 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), a rebound and an assist over 24 minutes in Friday's 115-110 preseason victory over the Suns.
The versatile 24-year-old got the starting nod at the three and turned in a fair performance, albeit one that wasn't quite on par with his 15-point effort in the opener against the Jazz last Monday. Crabbe is one of three players under consideration for the starting small forward role, but the other two candidates, Evan Turner and Maurice Harkless, reportedly fit more of the profile that head coach Terry Stotts is looking for. Meanwhile, Crabbe's considerable success off the bench while backing up both backcourt positions has rendered him an invaluable part of the second unit, meaning that Stotts could be loathe to bump him up to the starting lineup and consequently have to forgo his offensive presence coming off the bench. The battle is expected to be waged throughout the exhibition slate, but armed with a new contract, Crabbe figures to be in the mix heavily in the coming campaign regardless of where he slots in.
Like Crabbe, Harkless and Turner both received large paydays from the Trail Blazers in the offseason, with the California product earning his salary increase thanks to the sound shooting and defense he provided off the bench last season. However, it seems coach Terry Stotts is reticent to move Crabbe up from the second unit based on how much success he enjoyed as the team's sixth man, whereas Harkless and Turner have skill sets that may fit better in complementary roles with the starting five. The presence of Harkless and Turner isn't expected to dramatically alter Crabbe's minutes load in 2016-17, as all three players are capable of playing at least two positions, creating plenty of avenues for playing time.
Crabbe become a pivotal part of the Trail Blazers rotation last season, averaging 10.3 points, 1.2 assists and 2.7 rebounds while shooting an extremely solid 39.4 percent from three point range. While Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have solidify the Trail Blazers' starting backcourt for next season, Crabbe will almost certainly be one of the key reserves and will likely see plenty of minutes, making him an intriguing fantasy option.
Crabbe signed a four-year, $75 million offer sheet with the Nets on Thursday, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports.
Crabbe could stand in line to earn over $83 million with bonuses. The Nets and new GM Sean Marks clearly see a tremendous amount of promise in the young guard out of Cal, and the Trail Blazers now have three days to match Brooklyn's offer. Crabbe played 81 out of 82 regular season games in 2015-16, averaging 10.3 points, 1.2 assists and 2.7 rebounds while shooting an extremely solid 39.4 percent from three point range. Even though the 6-6 guard's numbers were impressive in 2015-16, the Nets' offer to Crabbe carries risk, as he has yet to establish himself as an NBA starter and $75 million is a lot of money, even in the new age of the NBA's higher salary cap.
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