Reported Nets-Hawks trade spurs interesting possibilities for NBA free agency

The Brooklyn Nets reached a deal with the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday that could allow for some major free agency moves come June 30.

Brooklyn is trading Allen Crabbe to Atlanta, plus the 17th pick in this year’s draft and a 2020 projected first-round pick, in exchange for Taurean Prince and a 2021 second-round pick, according to ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

Brooklyn will now have $46 million in salary cap space and two max salary slots, which would allow the team to sign a major free agent and possibly keep restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell, who is coming off a breakout season. If the Nets don’t re-sign Russell, they’ll have two max salary slots.  

Hawks forward Taurean Prince is part of a trade that could greatly impact free agency. (Photo: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

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The Nets made the playoffs for the first time in four years this season, and upcoming free agent Kyrie Irving has expressed serious interest in signing with them, according to Wojnarowski. Kevin Durant will also be a free agent this summer.

The Hawks are currently over their cap space and can’t absorb Crabbe’s $18.5 million contract, so the deal won’t be complete until July 6. Atlanta will reap the benefits before that though, now with three first round draft picks (8, 10 and 17). 

Last season, Prince averaged 13.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists on a 44.1 field goal percentage, while Crabbe put up 9.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game on just 36.7 percent from the floor.

Follow Lila Bromberg on Twitter @lilabbromberg.

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