The Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks have tipped off the NBA trade season, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Brooklyn is trading Allen Crabbe and No. 17 pick in 2019 NBA Draft and protected first in 2020 to Atlanta for Taurean Prince and 2021 second-round pick, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 6, 2019
The Nets reportedly will send forward Allen Crabbe, the No. 17 pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, and a lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick to the Hawks in exchange for forward Taurean Prince and a 2021 second-round pick. A source confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade cannot become official until July 6.
The deal would clear an additional $18 million in cap space for the Nets to use in pursuit of free agents this summer. The team, which already had enough space to accommodate a single max player, will now have $46 million in cap space, according to Wojnarowski.
Brooklyn is clearing $18M in additional salary cap space for July, which gives the Nets $46M in salary cap space to sign a max free agent and even retain restricted free agent D'Angelo Russell. Without Russell, the Nets have two max salary slots. https://t.co/diOiBOkhOZ— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 6, 2019
The Nets reportedly plan to aim high with their cap space. Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving are among the headline names in the class, and the Nets also have to decide if they want to re-sign point guard D’Angelo Russell, who will be a restricted free agent after being an All-Star for the first time.
Wojnarowski reports that free agent Kyrie Irving is "serious" about negotiating with the Nets, and the Nets are "serious" about beating out the rest of the league for this summer's top free agents.
Kyrie Irving is serious about the Nets -- and the Nets are serious about beating the Knicks -- and rest of league -- to the biggest free agents in the marketplace, per league sources.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 6, 2019
With the trade, the Hawks now hold three first-round picks (8, 10 and 17) in the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20th. The team could try to package the picks together in a trade to move up in the Draft.
Crabbe struggled with injuries during the 2018-19 season as he posted averages of 9.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists over 43 games. He has one year remaining on the four-year deal he signed with the Portland Trail Blazers during the summer of 2016.
Prince, who also faced injuries last season, has shown flashes of promise during his first three seasons with the Hawks. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 13.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals in 55 games last season.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.