The Washington Wizards are quickly approaching one of the most important and unpredictable summers in the history of their franchise. The team will have plenty of money to spend on talent and lots of roster spots that need to be filled, even once you factor in the max deal they'll likely offer Bradley Beal to keep him in Washington.
To help guide the process (and give us something to talk about because the Wizards don't have a draft pick this summer) we've created a list ranking the Top 30 players available, based strictly on their talent and how they would help the Wizards.
Previously, we took a look at Dwight Howard. Now we continue our series with a look at the 9th ranked player on our list: Allen Crabbe.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a Trailblazer who didn’t have a breakout season last year. Head Coach Terry Stotts’ five-out system proved to be a breath of fresh air for the Blazers’ collection of role players and rookie contracts, and as a result, the team ended up with one of the league’s most efficient, and entertaining offenses.
One of the biggest surprises of the Blazer’s season was third-year guard Allen Crabbe, who played the most minutes of his career in Stotts’ new offense, averaging just over 10 points per game as the Blazer’s sixth man, and established himself as one of the league’s best bench scorers.
A jump-shooter with 46/39/86 splits last season (Steph, Kawai, Klay, Redick and Calderon were the only other players to reach those marks last season), Crabbe uses a quick release and 6’11” wingspan to get his jumper off even against suffocating defense. Most effective as a kick-out option in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum pick-and-rolls, Crabbe is able to quickly rotate to open space. Last season, his effective field goal percentage on catch-and-shoot jumpers was 60 percent.
83 percent of Crabbe’s shots were assisted, but when opposing defenses run him off the line he’s a quick decision maker, opting for a one-dribble step through resulting in a mid-range jumper, or a one-handed floater he can hit reliably from about 17 feet out.
For how creative he can be on the perimeter, Crabbe struggles mightily getting to the rim. He rarely, if ever, dribbles more than twice, opting for tricky floaters over contested layups. As a result, Crabbe struggles to get to the line, limiting his effectiveness when his jumper isn’t falling.
On the defensive end, Crabbe can use his massive wingspan to contest jumpers most guards can’t, but outside of that, he still has always to go on the defensive end. He’s only 24, however, and that type of length is ideal in the types of switching defenses teams are using to negate the pick and roll. Under the right coach, his length should become a major asset as he continues to develop.
How could Crabbe help the Wizards?
In Washington, Crabbe’s shooting would be a godsend for a Wizards bench that’s struggled mightily offensively, often resulting in blown second and third quarter leads. In smaller lineups, his wingspan would allow him to slide down to either forward spot, and with Beal’s health a question mark, Crabbe can be a capable starter if necessary.
Crabbe compares favorably to other top sixth men, shooting at a better clip and with fewer dribbles than Jamal Crawford, JR Smith, and Will Barton. Think of Crabbe as filling the role Gary Neal played last year, but with fewer hesitation pull-ups from 20 feet out. Plus, Crabbe’s only 24.
Unfortunately for the Wizards, Crabbe is a restricted free agent. But with the Blazers looking to re-tool their roster this summer, the Wizards might be able to make a reasonable offer that Portland’s unwilling to match.