For some NBA players, it takes a couple of seasons for them to solidify their spots in the league, and Allen Crabbe of the Portland Trail Blazers is an example of that.
Crabbe was drafted with the 31st pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers out of the University of California and was traded to Portland on draft night. His rookie year was nothing great, playing in only 15 games and averaging 2.2 points, his season also included multiple stints with the Idaho Stampede of the D-League. In his second year, there was an increase in his playing time but he only scored 3.3 points in 51 games.
This past season he has really improved all around, having career highs in nearly every category while becoming a key rotational piece for this year’s Portland team. That has surprised a lot of people.
Allen Crabbe’s 2015-2016 regular season stat line: 10.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.8 steals a game while shooting 45.9% (including 39.4% from three). Played in 81 games, started eight.
It was a major surprise how Portland played the way they did this year. After losing four starters and the sixth man, you would expect them to have a down year, but that was not the case. Crabbe was one of those guys that stepped up at the right time and proved to be a solid piece in the rotation for the Blazers.
Allen Crabbe is expected to hit free agency this summer and I predict he will receive a lot of interest. He is a restricted free agent, meaning that if any team offers him a contract the Blazers have the right to match it. Now, the question of how much he’s worth depends on the team, but you can never have enough bench scorers.
In the end there will be teams interested but ultimately I believe Portland will match it. With Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, they can become a nice guard rotation. Allen Crabbe is only 24 so he still has room to grow. He has improved nicely this past season and Portland does not want to lose a important piece of their future.
If he stays in Portland, he’ll be a key contributor with the second unit and may even have some stints in the starting lineup. Last year was a big improvement in his game and I expect him to improve even more. The three guard combo of Lillard, McCollum and Crabbe will be fun to watch in Rip City.