Allen Crabbe had to wait through a torturous first round in the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Thursday before finally being picked by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first pick of the second round (31st overall), but after finally standing up and hearing his name called, it was all worth it.
"It was definitely a long night, with a lot of anxiety," said Crabbe, who was quickly traded to the Portland Trail Blazers. "But, I'm glad that I have a spot in the NBA, and I'm thrilled to be with the Trail Blazers. As a team, I think we have a lot of talent, so I'm definitely glad to be a part of this organization."
Crabbe's flip from the Cavaliers to the Trail Blazers didn't take very long, with the deal being set up largely before he was even chosen.
"A few minutes after they told me I was going to Cleveland, I found out that I was traded right away, so it's funny how things move so quickly in the NBA and how trades can happen so fast," Crabbe said. "It was definitely fun, getting to see the reaction from the fans and everything, and just being here was a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
The trade was finalized some time after the pick was announced.
"They announced it about 20, 25 minutes after and they were doing the other picks in the draft, and then they announced it. It was a while and I had to sit around, but I'm glad," Crabbe said.
The 6-foot-6 wing will stay on the west coast with the move to Portland, and will re-unite with a former opponent in NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard.
"It's cool, man. I didn't care where I went; I just wanted to be on an NBA team, and hopefully I'll have the opportunity to come n right away and contribute," said Crabbe. "It's definitely good to be playing on the same team as the Rookie of the Year, a young guy who's very talented and who gets his teammates the ball. He had a great, obviously an excellent season, so playing with somebody like that – who's going to be one of the top point guards in the league one day – is thrilling."
The eventual pick-up by the Trail Blazers was a bit of a surprise to Crabbe, who didn't meet or work out with Portland in the lead-up to the draft.
"It's funny how things can happen, how you can work out with so many different teams, you end up going to a team that you hadn't worked out for, it's definitely interesting to me," Crabbe said.
Crabbe was projected to go in the mid-to-late first round, but slipped down to the top of the second. Still, he didn't lose heart.
"It is what it is," Crabbe said. "I have no control over it. The only thing I could do was make the most of my opportunity, go out there and put in extra work and develop as a basketball player and see if I can find myself a spot."
Speaking directly to Portland fans, Crabbe said that they're getting "a guy who can spread the floor and hit shots, a guy who's going to come in and work hard. I'm going to try to find areas in my game that need improvement, and I need to work a lot harder because I was taken in the second round. I can't be concerned about it. I have to contribute."
"I'm blessed to be in the NBA," Crabbe said. "I'm blessed that I got picked at all. I'm blessed to be in this situation, and to be able to say that I'm a professional basketball player, now."
Crabbe suffered a foot injury during a workout with the Brooklyn Nets several weeks ago, but doesn't believe that caused him to fall to 31st.
"I'm not talking to the GMs, and stuff happens," Crabbe said. "It's in the past now, and now I have to focus on basketball and just getting better for this organization."
Crabbe Speaks on Draft Experience
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