The Trail Blazers Will Save Nearly $60 Million By Dealing Allen Crabbe To The Nets

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A year ago, the Brooklyn Nets put in a massive offer sheet of 4 years, $75 million to sign restricted free agent Allen Crabbe away from the Trail Blazers. Portland chose to match, but Crabbe struggled a bit in 2016-17 and the Blazers entered this offseason capped out and in need of unloading some salary to get more flexibility for the future.

Crabbe wasn’t the only one to land a huge deal from Portland last summer (Evan Turner, Damian Lillard, Mo Harkless and C.J. McCollum each got big deals as well), but with an 8-seed team, they couldn’t afford to be a tax team incapable of making improvements. So, on Tuesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that the Blazers would deal Crabbe to the Nets, the team that wanted him last summer, in exchange for Andrew Nicholson.

Nicholson has approximately $20 million remaining on his deal over the next three years, which the Blazers will use their stretch provision to space out payments and waive Nicholson to clear significant cap room, per Wojnarowski.

The biggest thing about this move is saving significant money on their tax bill. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes, the Blazers will cut their tax bill by over $40 million with this move, not to mention losing his more than $18 million in salary.

Portland will see their current luxury tax bill drop from $48.3M to $4.4M with the Allen Crabbe trade to Brooklyn. The Trail Blazers now have $122.2M in salary and are $2.9M below the luxury tax. The Trail Blazers currently project to save $60M in salary and taxes for 2017-18.

The move helps start the process of the Blazers making some roster changes as they look to give Lillard and McCollum more help after the experiment with Crabbe and Turner clearly didn’t pan out on the wing. The Nets get a roster upgrade and a player that they clearly feel, within their development program, they can get the most out of — and they have the cap space to not be bothered by his deal.