The Portland Trail Blazers have matched the Brooklyn Nets' offer sheet for restricted free agent guard Allen Crabbe, which means they will pay him at least $75 million for the next four years, per The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. Crabbe's offer sheet was reportedly front-loaded, and it included a trade kicker, a player option for the fourth season and incentives that could push it up to $83 million.
Apparently the Blazers really, really didn't want to lose him.
For Brooklyn, Crabbe would have been the starting shooting guard next to Jeremy Lin, and he would have had an opportunity to expand his game. In Portland, he'll be an extremely expensive backup behind C.J. McCollum. Last season, he averaged 10.3 points in 26 minutes, shooting 46 percent and 39 percent from 3-point range.
This decision is a little surprising, given that Portland already invested four years and $70 million this summer in another wing player: Evan Turner. Crabbe and Turner's games are completely different, though -- Turner needs the ball in his hands, while Crabbe can space the floor with his shooting.
In general, it's a bad idea to lose a promising 24-year-old like Crabbe for nothing. You can usually trade 3-and-D wings like him if you need to. There is risk involved here, though, as the Nets ensured that this would be an extremely difficult contract to trade. With this move, the Blazers are placing a big bet on Crabbe's development, as well as the roster's ability to keep growing together.
The obvious downside to this move is that the front office is sacrificing future flexibility. If Portland underperforms relative to expectations next season, it will be in a weird place.