Nets prepare for free agency splash with cap-clearing Allen Crabbe trade

Mae Harvey
June 8, 2019

Allen Crabbe is taking his trade from the Brooklyn Nets personally.

The Nets created an additional $18 million in cap space in the trade and now have room to sign two max players, the report notes. Or, Brooklyn could opt to let Russell walk and sign two max-contract free agents. This clears space for him, or perhaps another star free agent.

Now the Knicks could be looking at a scenario in which their coveted pair of superstars do indeed take their talents to the Big Apple, but wind up bypassing Madison Square Garden for Barclays Center.

Their team can point to its famous arena, a far larger fan base in the city and the glory that would accrue from bringing one of the league's marquee franchises its first championship in nearly five decades. Atlanta could package those picks to move up in the draft, or include them in other deals to avoid picking three first-rounders in what's considered a weak draft.

Although the New York Knicks,Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers are all still in the picture, early speculation has the Nets as the frontrunner for Irving.

There's suddenly a lot of momentum behind Irving joining the Nets. If Irving leaves, however, their desire to trade for Davis might be tested - bringing in Davis would likely require Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and several valuable picks. He has one year remaining on the four-year deal he signed with the Portland Trail Blazers during the summer of 2017. And thanks to some luck in the National Basketball Association draft lottery, they also have the No. 4 overall pick to possibly use in a trade, with Davis again looming large. Without Russell, the Nets have two max salary slots.

The deal can not be completed until July 6, when Atlanta will have the space to absorb Crabbe's contract.

The Nets exceeded expectations last season and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2014-15. 8, 10 and 17 picks in the upcoming draft.

The Nets reportedly will send forward Allen Crabbe, the No. 17 pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, and a lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick to the Hawks in exchange for forward Taurean Prince and a 2021 second-round pick. If that were to happen, that would give the Hawks five young, cost-controlled contracts and a full 15-man roster.

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