The Portland Trail Blazers had both cap space and the money to spend going into the 2016 offseason.
The Blazers made it clear they were here to spend. They signed former Warrior Festus Ezeli on a two-year deal worth $16 million and snatched Evan Turner from the Boston Celtics on a $70 million, four-year contract.
Adding to the shopping spree, the Blazers re-signed Allen Crabbe on a four-year deal worth $75 million off sheet.
Seventy-five million dollars is certainly a substantial amount of money to be fed into one player. Even though the Blazers had both cap room and the funds, they overpaid for Crabbe.
General Manager, Neil Olshey had previously said, “good players on favourable contracts are more valuable to us than cap room. Especially in an era where all 30 teams have cap room – or the ability to get it.”
Sure, sometimes cap space and money aren’t the only indicator of value. For Crabbe however, it should be, given the fact that he’s been offered an extreme amount of money.
Crabbe did benefit from a fairly solid playoffs performance, which included 9-17 three-point shooting against a challenging Golden State Warriors side.
In the regular season, Crabbe’s numbers were impressive. He shot 39.4% from distance and 57% true shooting, but the 2015-16 regular season was his first to average more than 14 minutes a game. Besides some impressive shooting and an extremely talented wing, what did Crabbe achieve?
Athletic and accurate shooting cannot be the only factor for consideration when looking for a player worth the expenditure. Crabbe’s defence is poor. His defensive RPM is -2.58 and his rebounds and assists are low (2.7 and 1.2 respectively).
Age-wise, Crabbe is 24, which is still young and gives a certain chance for growth and improvement, however most players are entering their peaks at 25. Younger players have huge learning curves to improve in every facet of the game. Crabbe has essentially been past that now. He’s got improvement ahead, but skills and ball IQ will only grow marginally.
Just because money is there to be spent, doesn’t mean it should be thrown at anybody. The Trail Blazers could have more effectively used that money to chase a more prominent wing player.
Head Coach Terry Stotts says the Blazers aren’t just looking at the cash aspects.
“We are probably not going to make the quantum leap the salaries might indicate. As a coach, you take the money out of it. We just want to grow.”
It’s understandable what the Portland Trail Blazers are trying to achieve, however throwing away money isn’t going to be beneficial in the long run.
Crabbe is a good player, but he is not worth $75 million.