Kurt Helin

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Nets make four-year, $75 million offer to Allen Crabbe, Trail Blazers have three days to match

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If you went down the list of restricted free agents coveted by other teams, Portland guard Allen Crabbe was near the top of the list. The 6’6″ guard thrived as the first guard off the bench for the Blazers last season, shot 39.3 percent from three, and shows great promise as a “3&D” guy (who needs to improve defensively). Plus he’s just 24.

Some team was going to make a run at him — and that team turned out to be the Brooklyn Nets, reported Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

The Trail Blazers want to keep Crabbe, but that price tag is going to make them hesitate, reports Jason Quick of CSNNW.com.

Crabbe is good, but he’s not starting in front of Damian Lillard or C.J. McCollum. While the Trail Blazers could play Crabbe at the three, the team just paid Evan Turner $70 million to take over starting in that spot.

New Nets GM Sean Marks has made a couple of really smart stabs into the restricted free agent market this July. First, he offered Tyler Johnson of the Heat $50 million on a “Gilbert Arenas contract” deal, but with Dwyane Wade gone the Heat seem more likely to match that offer. Now there is the Crabbe offer.

Whether he’s coming off the bench in Portland or starting, Crabbe is going to be a very wealthy man. Now he just has to live up to that contract.

Marcelo Huertas re-signs with Lakers on two year deal

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D'Angelo Russell will start for the Lakers at the point guard spot. Obviously.

But when Luke Walton turns to his bench for a backup one he will see Jose Calderon and… Marcelo Huertas. The Lakers and Huertas reached a two-year contract extension Thursday, something reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

Then it was confirmed on Instagram by Huertas himself.

Huertas averaged 4.5 points and 3.4 assists in 53 games for the Lakers last season but played better toward the end of the campaign. He could push (and pass) Calderon for the backup point guard minutes, although my guess is Luke Walton would like to limit both the minutes of his older reserve ones.

Report: Portland reaches two-year, $15 million deal with Festus Ezeli

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This was a smart pickup by a patient GM.

Golden State had to renounce its rights to center Festus Ezeli to make room for Kevin Durant, and now Portland has swooped in and picked up the big man for two years at a very reasonable price. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports broke the news.

Free-agent center Festus Ezeli has agreed to a two-year, $16 million deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, league sources told The Vertical. Ezeli will compete for minutes with Portland’s Mason Plumlee at center….

Ezeli met with Blazers officials and medical staff late Wednesday and into Thursday, and reached agreement on a deal Thursday night. Ezeli missed six weeks of the regular season after left knee surgery and concerns over his sturdiness likely cost him a stronger financial commitment in the free-agent market.

The actual contract may be a little less than reported.

At this price, the Trail Blazers should be able to keep their three big restricted free agents: Meyers Leonard, Allen Crabbe, and Moe Harkless.

While he struggled in the Finals (particularly Game 7), Ezeli brings some rim protection and athleticism to the center spot for Portland. He can run the floor in transition, crash the boards, and play the pick-and-roll with Portland’s stud guards. This is a good signing at this price.

Portland GM Neil Olshey had taken some criticism this offseason for his $70 million Evan Turner contract, the one I think was the worst deal handed out this off-season. Portland wanted another playmaker and guy who can defend multiple positions, but he’s an inefficient shooter and not quick enough to be a real quality defender. Turner is a below average player (who could improve to replacement level) but got paid like a star.

The Ezeli signing is more the Olshey most of us expect — a smart move where he got a nice player at a good price and, if it doesn’t work out, he’s not on the hook for much. It’s a move that makes Portland better.

Stephen Curry has top selling NBA jersey, Cavaliers sell most team gear

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Just like during the season, Stephen Curry got the top individual prize but the Cleveland Cavaliers won the big team award.

However, this time we are talking jersey and team gear sales.

Not a lot of surprises at the top, but here are the top 15 NBA jerseys sold through the NBA.com store.

1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
4. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
6. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
7. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
8. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
9. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
10. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
11. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
12. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
13. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
14. Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors
15. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks

No huge surprises there, maybe Iguodala making the list still and getting more sales than Kevin Love. Three of those names — Durant, Rose, and Wade — will change teams next season, while at least one (Kobe Bryant) has retired. He could be joined by Duncan.

As for team merchandise sales, here are the top 10

1. Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Golden State Warriors
3. Los Angeles Lakers
4. Chicago Bulls
5. Oklahoma City Thunder
6. San Antonio Spurs
7. Miami Heat
8. Toronto Raptors
9. New York Knicks
10. Boston Celtics

I love that the Raptors surged ahead of far more established teams like the Knicks and Celtics — Raptors fans are passionate. And like to shop, apparently.

Ginobili returning to Spurs on 1-year deal

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Manu Ginobili has ended any doubt, as if there ever was any to begin with: The Argentinian star tweets that he is returning to the San Antonio Spurs on a one-year deal.

Ginobili previously posted a message on social media saying he had decided to play another season in the NBA. But he didn’t mention the Spurs, which led some to wonder if he would head to another team after spending the first 14 years of his career in San Antonio.

It was a highly unlikely scenario, and one that Ginobili clarified on Thursday.

He tweets: “Happy to tell you guys that I’ll be coming back to the Spurs for another season. (hash)backhome.”

Ginobili will turn 39 later this month.