The Hawks began their offseason in style by trading Taurean Prince and a 2021 second-round pick to the Brooklyn Nets, as Adrian Wojnarowski first reported.
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
The move is a salary dump for the Nets who are looking to poach Kyrie Irving and another star this offseason. The only way they could do that is by ridding of the gaudy $19 million they owe Allen Crabbe this upcoming season. Nobody would have done that for free, so the Hawks were able to pick up two first-round picks in the process.
By doing this, Travis Schlenk is signaling that Atlanta will be rebuilding for one more year. They will look to add to their young building blocks of Trae Young and John Collins with their three first-round picks in this year’s draft (8,10, and 17). They also have the potential to have three first-rounders in 2020 as well. The Hawks own their pick, Cleveland’s pick (top-ten protected), and Brooklyn’s pick (top-14 protected).
This does, however, crush any lasting hope that Atlanta would go out an make a substantial free agent signing this offseason. But their eyes will be peeled to the 2020 free agent class. By then, Kent Bazemore, Miles Plumlee, and Allen Crabbe will all be off the books, and Atlanta will have all the cash in the world to build around their youthful core. Today was a win for the Hawks.