Cal guard Allen Crabbe, the Pac-12 player of the year, is taking his talents to to the Pacific Northwest.
The junior was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first pick of the second round and 31st pick overall of the 2013 NBA draft on Thursday night. However, due to a draft-day trade, he will head to Portland to become a Trail Blazer, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. The Blazers gave up a pair of future second-rounders to Cleveland to take Crabbe.
Crabbe led the Bears in scoring with 18.4 points per game and was voted MVP of the Bears by his teammates. He is known as a sharpshooter with a .348 percentage from three and will provide offensive talent for the Blazers. Although Crabbe worked on his driving ability in his final year with the Bears, he will primarily fill the role of a spot-up shooter in the Blazers’ backcourt.
He will join C.J. McCollum, a point guard out of Lehigh whom the Blazers took with the 10th overall selection in the draft, in the Blazers’ backcourt. Crabbe will compete primarily with Wesley Mathews, the Blazers’ current starting shooting guard, for minutes.
Crabbe was projected by most experts as a late first-round pick and worked out with the Bulls, Timberwolves, Pacers, Cavaliers, Knicks, Nets, Celtics, Bucks, Jazz, Clippers and Suns before the draft — almost all of which had picks late in the first round. As a result, it was a surprise that Crabbe fell to the second round. Eventually, the Trail Blazers felt they needed to move up to take him despite the fact that the team never worked out Crabbe.
Crabbe chose to forgo his senior year at Cal to declare for the draft because he was projected as a first-rounder after a strong senior season, an opportunity he called “once in a lifetime” in an interview with Cal Athletics in May.
“Why not?” he said. “We just felt like we should go ahead and take the chance.”
Despite the fall to the second round, the selection is a dream come true for Crabbe, who showed his anticipation for weeks on Twitter.
“2 MO DAYS !!” Crabbe tweeted on Tuesday.
With the selection, Crabbe’s long wait, which was made even longer by the unexpected slide, is finally over.