NBA Draft season invariably leads to some wheeling and dealing, and on Thursday afternoon, we got our first trade during this chaotic part of the basketball calendar. The Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks agreed to a swap involving picks and players, and while it may not seem huge on the surface, there are potential free agency implications due to the move.
Brooklyn will send Allen Crabbe and a pair of first round draft picks, one of which is the 17th pick in a few weeks, to Atlanta for Taurean Prince and a second round selection. The news of the move comes via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
It’s a savvy move for the Hawks, which got a third top-20 pick in this year’s first round for taking on the final year of Crabbe’s salary. Per Wojnarowski, the pick Atlanta receives next year is lottery protected.
As for Brooklyn, they get a young wing back in Prince, but the far more interesting aspect of this is how it frees up a boatload of cash heading into this summer. Wojnarowski brings word that this move means that the Nets can now, potentially, sign a second free agent to a max contract this summer if they so choose.
Our own Jeff Siegel projects that thanks to this move, the Nets can get to $67.6 million in cap space in the event that it decides to move on from D’Angelo Russell. Brooklyn is expected to be among the most aggressive teams in free agency this summer, and thanks to this trade, they now have the money in their war chest to go out and swing for the fences.