Trae Young was in New York yesterday for the NBPA/Five-Star Camp at Basketball City and talked about a number of things: his Hawks rebuild, the Nets big off-season and Taurean Prince, who was acquired June 6 in the Allen Crabbe salary dump.
Young, runner-up in the Rookie of the Year voting, likes what the Nets got in the swap (which sent two first rounders along with Crabbe for Prince and a 2021 second rounder.)
“He can bring a lot,” Young said of Prince, who averaged 13.5 points last season on 39 percent shooting from 3-point range. “Taurean is a tremendous player. He brings a lot of skill on the court with his ability to shoot and pass. He’s very smart. I think that goes very underrated. He knows how to make plays and when to make plays.”
Prince and Rodions Kurucs is likely to fill in at the 4 until Kevin Durant comes back. At 6’8”, he can also play at the 3, a younger (at 25) version of the departed DeMarre Carroll. Like Carroll, Prince can be an off-court asset, too, said the 20-year-old.
“As far as off the court, [Prince] was very helpful for me,” Young said. “I know Brooklyn doesn’t have a lot of young guys, but off the court, he’s a guy that’s not going to be in trouble and going to be low key. As far as a teammate, he’s a good person and a good player to be around. I think Taurean is going to have a great season in Brooklyn.”
The consensus is that the Nets open offense will be ideal for the multi-skilled Prince, particularly when compared to Hawk coach Lloyd Pierce. Bobby Marks, on ESPN not long after the trade, said the Nets wanted Prince.
“They like Taurean Prince a lot. They really do. I think he’ll fit probably at the 4 for Kenny Atkinson. He can replace DeMarre Carroll there,” said Marks three days after the trade.
Young also spoke about the newly renovated Nets that includes Kyrie Irving and Durant.
“That team did an unbelievable job last season of getting in the playoffs,” Young said . “They have a tremendous coach. It’s not just their players. With Durant and Kyrie, that’s an unbelievable duo.”
Meanwhile, the Nets posted a quick interview with Prince including a couple of clips when he first played in a Nets uniform: three years ago for the Long Island Nets. The Hawks wanted the then-rookie to get some playing time in the G League and at that point, they didn’t have an affiliate, so he wound up in Brooklyn for five games, averaging 20 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Was there the Nets interest began? No one’s saying.
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