Brooklyn Nets guard Allen Crabbe has picked up his player option for the 2019-20 season, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. The 27-year-old will earn $18.5 million in the final campaign of a four-year deal signed in 2016.
Crabbe averaged 9.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game for Brooklyn this past season but was unable to contribute to the team in the postseason after undergoing knee surgery last month.
While Crabbe’s decision to pick up the substantial player option doesn’t come as much of a surprise, it does have a significant impact on the team’s financial forecast.
Even with Crabbe’s cap hit, the Nets have plenty of cap space to pursue a big time free agent, but if the franchise wants to clear up room to sign two major free agents, Crabbe’s now-expiring deal could be traded or stretched and waived.
Of course if Brooklyn does decide to take a home run swing in free agency, they’d have to first decide on the fates of restricted free agents D’Angelo Russell and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who will earn significant pay raises on the open market regardless of where they end up.
All of those factors will impact how Nets general manager Sean Marks chooses to approach the offseason, a somewhat ironic ending to a plot line that began when Marks and the Nets paid over market value in an attempt to poach Crabbe from the Portland Trail Blazers back in 2016.
The Blazers matched Crabbe’s offer sheet at the time but ultimately dealt Crabbe to Brooklyn the next summer.