According to the latest WOJ Bomb from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets have agreed to a trade, albeit one that can’t be completed until July 6 when the league-wide moratorium ends and teams can start using their 2019-2020 salary-cap space.
Atlanta will send Taurean Prince and a 2021 second-round draft pick to Brooklyn for Allen Crabbe, the Nets’ 2019 first-round selection (No. 17) and a 2020 first-round pick that’s lottery protected.
This is news, but the real story here is what both teams have positioned themselves to do next.
What does Atlanta General Manager Travis Schlenk have up his sleeves? The Hawks now have three first-round choices (No. 8, No. 10 and No. 17), in addition to the No. 35, No. 41 and No. 44 picks in the second round.
Atlanta could package multiple picks to move up higher in the Draft that takes place two weeks from today. The Hawks might be big-game hunting for the likes of a star such as Anthony Davis. They certainly have a slew of picks that could be viewed as major assets by the New Orleans Pelicans.
This move gives Brooklyn the salary-cap flexibility to pursue one max free agent and ink restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell, who led the Nets to the playoffs this past season when he averaged 21.1 points, 7.0 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game. If Russell signs with another team and Brooklyn chooses not to match that offer, it can go after two max free agents.
Citing sources, Wojnarowski reported that there is mutual interest between Kyrie Irving and the Nets. Also, the club’s dream scenario is to acquire both Irving and Golden State’s Kevin Durant via free agency.
Crabbe has a $18.5 million salary for next year. He averaged 9.6 points and 3.4 RPG while shooting at a 37.8 percent clip from downtown this past season. Crabbe was limited to 43 games due to injuries.
Prince was up and down for Atlanta over three seasons after being taken as the No. 12 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. The Baylor product averaged 13.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.1 APG this past season. In 2017-2018, Prince averaged 14.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.6 APG.