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Exclusive: What Allen Crabbe might have been

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Utah Jazz v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

In an exclusive interview with NetsDaily, Allen Crabbe talked about how he almost became a Net; what’s it like to stare at a $70 million offer sheet; how much he liked the idea of a new culture run by Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson; and, of course, what if the Trail Blazers hadn’t matched...

On large contract offered and whether he was flattered by it:

“At first when they made the offer, I thought somebody was joking with me. You know man, it was my first free agency and I knew the new TV deal kicked in so the salary cap went up significantly, but I still didn’t know exactly what my range was. When they told me that (pauses with impressed face) I had so many feelings. I was excited, happy. It was a crazy feeling just knowing that a team wanted me like that. It felt really good.”

On being a “Plan A” in the Nets’ new system:

“It was cool, man. Just hearing how they were going to use me, it was a good feeling knowing I was a big part of the puzzle. For them to invest that much in me and be that interested, it’s a good feeling.”

“As a basketball player, everybody’s dream is to be a starter and I had that chance here in Brooklyn. And if that isn’t your dream as a basketball player, then you shouldn’t be playing.”

“When I met with them, they were straightforward and told me, ‘Look we’ve got a lot of young guys here that are looking to compete. We’re going to try and build from here.’ So you know, I felt like that was a positive first step going into something good being built here.”

“I liked everything about how they were going to use me. But you know, everything happens for a reason and I’m back here and I’m happy with that.”

On whether they talked a lot about the rebuild:

“Yeah of course, but that was cool with me. The direction this organization is headed in with the coach, and then the new GM coming from the Spurs organization and trying to bring that here to Brooklyn. You want to play for a team like that, a team with a culture that’s looking to win. I felt like that was a big thing for me, especially playing in Portland and making the playoffs every year. So yeah, winning is important and it isn’t all about the money but I really felt like they were going in the right direction and that really drew my attention.”

On whether there’s a sense of ‘what if?’

(Laughs) Yeah man. I think it’s human nature. You think ‘what if. What if I was playing here?’ So there’s always that. I don’t think about it too much, but I’m focused on being here and helping this team be successful.

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Crabbe, who’s putting up numbers similar to those that the Nets liked last season, finished Sunday night with 14 points, shooting 5-of-10, including 4-of-7 from deep.