The Nets have dumped Allen Crabbe and traded two first rounders —including their own first this year— to the Hawks in return for Taurean Prince, the 6’8” forward who averaged 13.5 points a game last season and shot 39 percent from three.
The move will also provide the Nets with added cap space for free agency as Prince WILL make $15 million less than Crabbe’s $18.5 million. In addition, by trading the 17th pick, the Nets will save another $2.9 million in rookie salary scale money. The Nets still have the 27th and 31st picks in the Draft.
As Adrian Wojnarowski wrote, the savings will permit the Nets to make a big move, suggesting that Kyrie Irving is their main target ... along with the Knicks’ free agency hopes.
Woj broke the news in a series of tweets...
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
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
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
Nets 2020 first-round pick to the Hawks is protected 1-14, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 6, 2019
Zach Lowe added that the lottery-protected pick will roll over through 2022 after which it will turn into two seconds.
If this pick falls in the protected range in 2020, Atlanta get the Nets lottery protected 1st in 2021, sources say. Same drill for 2022. After that, it converts to two second rounders. https://t.co/1MeLLhGqVk— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 6, 2019
Officially, notes Bobby Marks, the trade can’t be announced for a month...
Brooklyn trade cannot be completed until July 6 when Atlanta will have cap space to absorb the $18.5M Allen Crabbe contract. The Hawks are currently over the cap.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 6, 2019
The big news, though, is that Nets now have a ton of cap space. Here’s the math... from Albert Nahmad, the cap expert . In essence, they traded their 2019 first rounder for Prince plus the 2021 second and Crabbe for cap space. Cap expert Albert Nahmad has the math.
Nets have flexibility. They could get up to $68M cap room (incl. #27 pick). They could test market for two max players, while keeping D'Angelo Russell’s $21M cap hold (his QO is just $9.2M). If they only get one 30% max player, could still get up to $16M room with Russell’s hold.— Albert Nahmad (@AlbertNahmad) June 6, 2019
How does the number get that high. Nahmad explains that the Nets are entitled to a $15 million trade exception as a result of the trade. They won’t have to make a decision on whether to renounce the TE until after the deal is completed in early July.
Confused? Yeah, it’s not easy, but here’s the bottom line as Brian Windhorst said in an ESPN interview, “That is the type of move you make when you have a major plan. You don’t do that to get a little bit of cap space,” suggesting perhaps that Sean Marks was not done.
In his ESPN story, Woj detailed the Nets plans...
Boston guard Kyrie Irving -- who is expected to become a free agent -- and Brooklyn have a strong mutual interest, league sources told ESPN. The Nets have $46 million in salary-cap space to sign two maximum-contract free agents, which would include Brooklyn’s dream scenario of luring Irving and Golden State’s Kevin Durant to the franchise, league sources said.
The Knicks are pursuing the same partnership, but league sources say that Irving’s interest in the Nets has increased and Brooklyn has emerged as a serious contender to attract Irving. The Nets could keep restricted free agent guard D’Angelo Russell on a max -- or near-max -- deal to play with a free-agent star too.
Should the Nets fail to sign one or both of those targets, they will still have one of the biggest caches of salary cap space to either pursue other free agents this summer or use it in lop-sided trades.
The price was steep in that that Nets are giving up two first rounders, but with this year’s pick out of the lottery and any subsequent pick lottery-protected, neither will be a high pick.
Marks traded for Crabbe two years ago, giving up Andrew Nicholson and his $20 million deal in the process. Crabbe, however, was disappointing in 2018-19, then got hurt and underwent knee surgery this past season, playing in only 43 games and scoring only 9.6 points per contest. His three point shooting also dropped off, with the 27-year-old hitting only 37.8 percent of his shots, his worst number in four seasons.
The Nets liked Prince when he played for the Long Island Nets two years on loan from the Hawks, averaging 20 points over five games. He’s 25 years old and is his rookie deal through the end of next season, with a qualifying offer for nearly $5 million in 2021-22. Prince missed 27 games last year, mainly with ankle and foot issues.
In an interview last week with FOX Sports, Prince talked about his game, who he models it after and who he’s close to.
Taurean Prince interview from last week - he models his game after Durant and Kawhi and is very good friends with Duranthttps://t.co/phpq9G1LJw— Ronnie (@RonnieNYCPA) June 6, 2019
In assessing the trade for ESPN, Kevin Pelton spoke about the value Prince brings.
He’ll make just $3.5 million in 2019-20, the last year of his rookie contract. Prince started all 82 games for the rebuilding Hawks in 2017-18 and 47 of the 55 he played last season. He’s become a reliable 3-point shooter, having shot 38.5% and 39.0% from beyond the arc over the last two seasons, respectively, and has the size and athleticism to defend multiple positions.
Prince’s acquisition seems to signal the end to DeMarre Carroll’s tenure with the Nets. Carroll is an unrestricted free agent but he’s eight years older than Prince.
After the trade, the Nets Draft picture looks like this: the Nos. 27 and 31 in this year’s Draft; two seconds, the Nuggets and the Blazers (heavily protected) in 2020; their own first and three seconds, the Suns (lightly protected), Hawks and Raptors in 2021; their own first and their own second in 2022; and their own first and two seconds — their own which may be swapped with Atlanta— and the Pacers. The Nets also owe a second to the Hawks in the 2025 Draft.
- Sources: Nets trade Crabbe to Hawks for Prince - Adrian Wojnarowski - ESPN
- Nets prepare for free agency splash with cap-clearing Allen Crabbe trade - Greg Joyce - New York Post
- Nets trade Allen Crabbe to Hawks in cap-clearing move, source confirms - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Nets set themselves up for a free agency war against the Knicks - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- The Nets’ Allen Crabbe trade could heavily affect Knicks’ free agency - Ian Begley - SNY
- Moving toward a goal: Nets’ trade positions them to sign Kyrie Irving and another star in free agency - Michael Scotto - The Athletic New York
- Salary cap impact of the Allen Crabbe trade for the Nets and Hawks - Danny Leroux - The Athletic
- Nets deal Allen Crabbe, two first-round picks to Hawks for Taurean Prince - YES Network
- Kyrie Irving reportedly ‘serious’ about joining Nets, who traded Allen Crabbe to clear space for two max players - Brad Botkin - CBS Sports
- AP source: Nets moving Crabbe, picks to Hawks, get cap space - Brian Mahoney - AP
- NBA rumors: Could Nets’ Allen Crabbe trade with Atlanta Hawks mean they’re getting Kevin Durant AND Kyrie Irving in free agency? - Zach Rosenblatt - NJ.com
- Reported Nets trade with Hawks could shake up free agency — and give the Knicks agita - Des Bieler - Washington Post
- Trade grades: What the Nets-Hawks deal means for free agency - Kevin Pelton - ESPN
- Trade Grades: Nets Take Step Toward Free Agency With Allen Crabbe Deal - Jeremy Woo - Sports Illustrated
- Hawks piling up more assets with reported trade of Taurean Prince - Chris Vivlamore - Atlanta Journal-Constitution