By: Ben Meyerson | Follow me on Twitter @BMSportsNetwork
The NBA does not sleep, between Warriors minority owner Mark Stevens getting banned for one year and fined $500k (for the Kyle Lowry push) to Kevin Durant being out for Game 4. We are 2 weeks from the NBA draft and the NBA trading season has begun. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski: “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.” The Nets were able to clear cap space in a move that gives them a lot of flexibility in free agency. With thtis trade the Hawks now have 2 more picks than any other team in the draft (6) what will they do.
How Does This Affect Brooklyn?
Brooklyn is getting Taurean Prince and a 2021 seond round pick. Prince, is still on his rookie deal and will be a restricted free agent after next season. Prince averaged 13.5 points, 2.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds last season and had career highs in FG% (44.1%) and 3P% (39%). Prince is an upgrade over Allen Crabbe and he is on a much more team friendly deal. While he is an upgrade that’s not the reason he was acquired, he will be earning $3.4 million next year versus Allen Crabbe’s $18.5 million. The Nets are artificially creating $15 million in cap space by giving up the 17th overall pick.
Salary Cap Outlook
For Brooklyn this is brilliant, cap space is the most valueable commodity in the NBA and the Nets are creating a lot of it. This summer they’ll have enough for 2 max contracts with nearly $46 million in projected cap space. One issue with this is D’Angelo Russell, if the Nets renounce him and sign Kyire Irving they’ll still have $34 million in cap space. If they don’t renounce him and sign Kyrie they’ll have $13.9 million. If reporting is true and Kyrie Irving is serious about the Nets the casuallity of this trade will be D’Angelo Russell. The Nets have a decision to make on Russell and considering he’s a young rising all-star it would be hard to let him go (Kyrie would of course be great compensastion).
What this means
Brooklyn has now positioned themselves better than anyone else this offseason they have 2 max salary slots, they’re in the NBA’s biggest market, have a good coach and a well-respected front office. Go in a time machine and tell that to Nets fans four years ago and you’ll watch their minds be blown. If Kyrie and Kevin Durant come to Brooklyn the east will be decided for the next few years. Brooklyn already has a lot of good role players and have a potential All-Defensive team player in Jarrett Allen.
How does this affect Atlanta?
Atlanta is acquiring Allen Crabbe, who is entering his 7th season, he averaged 9.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists last year. Crabbe finished with his lowest FT%(73.2%), eFG%(49.9%), 2P%(34.2%), FG%(36.7%) since his rookie season. Since being traded to Brooklyn, Crabbe is being used much more but inefficiently. The two most valuable assets acquired in this trade are the draft picks. Atlanta not only acquired the 17th overall pick but a future (lottery-protected) first round pick. While the player Atlanta could choose at 17 won’t likely be an immediate impact player, the value in this pick resides with the flexibility it gives them to make trades.
After this trade the Hawks have 3 picks in the Top-20 (8, 10, 17), along with 3 more picks in the second round (35, 41, 44) and have 2 more picks in this draft than any other team in the entire draft. This gives the Hawks the ability to potentially move up in draft (potentially all the way to the 3rd overall pick) or build a great young core around Trae Young, John Collins and Kevin Huerter. They could move up for Rj Barrett, Jarrett Culver or any other wing in this draft and immedatley upgrade their team. The beauty of acquiring so many picks is that it gives you flexibility, they could potentially keep the 8th or 10th pick and still move up in the draft.
What this means
Atlanta is positioning themselves as one the best young teams in the NBA with lots of flexibility moving forward. Even if Atlanta doesn’t sign anyone in free agency this offseason they’ll have the ability to sign two (potentially three) max contract in the summer of 2020. With good young players and the ability to add two top-10 picks in this upcoming draft, Atlanta is one of the scariest teams moving forward.