ATLANTA (CBS46) – The Atlanta Hawks made the first big trade ahead of the NBA Draft in a few weeks. The Hawks have dealt Taurean Prince and a draft pick to the Brooklyn Nets.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hawks are sending Prince and a 2021 second-round pick to the Nets and will receive shooting guard Allen Crabbe, the 17th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and a protected 2020 first-round pick.
No trade can become official until the first day of the new league year on July 6. As such, neither team has commented on the reported trade.
The move for the Nets clears out a large amount of cap space as they chase point guard Kyrie Irving and perhaps another star in free agency. Prince will only cost a combined roughly $6 million over the next two seasons for the Nets.
For the Hawks, Crabbe carries a cap charge next year of $18.5 million which will bring the Hawks’ practical cap space next season to $34.5 million if they renounce the free agent rights to Dewayne Dedmon, Justin Anderson, Isaac Humphries, and Vince Carter.
Perhaps more importantly for the Hawks, they now have three first round picks in the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft. The Hawks have a gaping hole at small forward and could also use help at the center position heading into the draft.
According to Wojarnowski, “Now, Nos. 8, 10, 17, 35, 41, and 44 give the Hawks the flexibility to move up – perhaps as high as Cleveland’s pick at No. 5. Hawks GM Travis Schlenk has options.”
Atlanta had been motivated to keep No. 8 and use 10 to trade back for a future asset, league sources tell ESPN. Now, Nos. 8, 10, 17, 35, 41 and 44 give the Hawks the flexibility to move up -- perhaps as high as Cleveland's pick at No. 5. Hawks GM Travis Schlenk has options. https://t.co/RqjV5uxkNG— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 6, 2019
If the Hawks are indeed looking to move up in the NBA Draft, some of the possible targets could include: R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish, and De’Andre Hunter. Past those three players, the other top players reported in the draft are point guards or players who can’t be traded for, Zion Williamson.
Barrett is likely a stretch as New York needs a splash pick to try to attract any significant free agents. The Lakers hold the number four pick and are likely to either trade out of that spot to clear salary cap space to pursue free agents. The Cavaliers pick fifth and need help at every position other than point guard.