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Sean Marks has done it again.

According to multiple reports, the Brooklyn Nets’ crafty GM has traded reserve forward Andrew Nicholson to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for 25-year-old guard Allen Crabbe. The Nets officially announced the trade on Thursday evening.

What makes this trade even more special for Nets fans is that Crabbe was once a player the team thought they could never get their hands on.  Last summer, Marks originally signed Crabbe to a four-year offer sheet worth $75 million, only to have Portland match it and retain the then-restricted free-agent.  Marks has struck out on four RFA’s over the last 16 months, with the other three being Tyler Johnson, Donatas Motiejunas and Otto Porter Jr.  Now, he finally gets to bring one of his longtime targets to Brooklyn.

Crabbe will reportedly waive his $5.6 million trade kicker to move to the Nets.  He wanted to join the team last summer, but NBA rules prohibit players from joining teams who sign them to offer sheets for one full calendar year.  Two weeks after the moratorium was lifted, Crabbe is finally off to the Nets.

Last season in Portland, Crabbe averaged 10.9 points and shot 44 percent from 3-point range in 79 games.  He mostly came off the bench, and the Trail Blazers must have deemed him expendable.  The trade saves them a good amount of money and gets them closer to the luxury tax threshold, which many believe was their prime motivation to get a deal done.  Crabbe will have a much larger role playing for Kenny Atkinson in Brooklyn, and his age and skill set perfectly fit the Nets’ rebuilding plan.

Nicholson was acquired from the Washington Wizards at the trade deadline for Bojan Bogdanovic and a 2017 first-round pick that the Nets used to select Jarrett Allen, but he did not not play much during his time in Brooklyn. ESPN is reporting Portland will waive and stretch Nicholson, who’s contract runs through 2019.  In essence, Marks dealt Bogdanovic for Crabbe and Allen, which is an absolute coup for Brooklyn.

Marks is having himself quite a summer.  He may have lost the top overall selection in last month’s draft to the Boston Celtics, but he’s shed multiple veteran contracts and used his cap space to obtain valuable assets. He’s traded Brook Lopez, Justin Hamilton, Andrew Nicholson and a late first-round pick (No. 27) for D’Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov, DeMarre Carroll, Crabbe and 2018 first and second-round draft picks.  It may not immediately vault the Nets into playoff contention, but they are in a much better place now than they were 18 months ago when Marks was first hired.  Carroll’s, Crabbe’s and Mozgov’s contracts may look like salary dumps, but they came attached with young players and assets that Marks did not have when he took over for Billy King.  I personally think all three guys can still play, and it’s almost a certainty that Brooklyn will not have the worst record in the NBA for the second-consecutive season.  Their style of play will also make them much more fun to watch than they were the past few seasons.

As of now, the Nets’ roster looks like this:

Jeremy Lin/ Isaiah Whitehead/ Spencer Dinwiddie/ Archie Goodwin

Russell/ Sean Kilpatrick/ Joe Harris

Crabbe/ Caris LeVert

Carroll/ Rondae Hollis-Jefferson/ Trevor Booker/ Quincy Acy

Mozgov/ Allen

The Nets might not be done, as they are extremely thin up front and could deal one of their guards in order to acquire another big man.  Rumor has it the Nets are interested in former Celtic and Toronto Raptor Jared Sullinger, but they would have to make a corresponding move because their roster currently stands at 15 players.  NBA teams can bring up to 20 players into training camp, so look for Marks to continue scouring the market for other deals that would improve the team.

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Jason Goldstein is a co host of the Baseline Jumper NBA podcast, recording every Tuesday night along Ben McDonald. Jason has also spent time as the Basketball Editor at while also handling the Brooklyn Nets Lead Writer duties since October 2015.
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