Breaking Down the Nets-Hawks Trade

It has been announced that the Nets have shipped Allen Crabbe, the 17th overall pick, as well as future draft picks to the Hawks for Taurean Prince and a future second-round pick. This came as a surprise to NBA fans, as trades normally go down after the NBA finals. Regardless, this makes a huge splash in free agency, and the future of the Nets, and possibly the Hawks.  

There’s no clear winner in this trade, however certain teams and players benefit and lose from the situation in their own ways. Today I’ll be highlighting every player and team that this trade effects, and how.

First off, the Brooklyn Nets dump an 18 million dollar contract in Allen Crabbe to the Hawks. This is something the Nets have needed to make happen for a long time. Allen Crabbe has not been anything special for the Nets, and certainly not worth 18 million dollars. Obviously, this cap dump gives Brooklyn plenty of options. The Nets are one of the hot free agency destinations this offseason, and Allen Crabbe’s cap dump opens up a second max slot. Obviously, the Nets are using this trade as a means to bring in both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, as well as resign D’Angelo Russell. Clearly, the Nets have big plans for this offseason. If the Nets can pull this move off, they could very quickly become the new Beast in the East. A Russell, Kyrie, KD, Jarrett Allen, and now Taurean Prince squad would be a team that many would fear. But the biggest question for Brooklyn is whether or not they can actually get all of these free agents to come out East.

I truly believe Kyrie Irving is on his way to Brooklyn, regardless of circumstances. I see Kyrie as the free agent initiator, someone who will determine the outcome of many other free agents. In my opinion, Kyrie Irving will be signing with the Brooklyn Nets as soon as free agency opens up. Multiple reports, via ESPN’S Adrian Wojnarowski and many other reliable sources, have emerged regarding Kyrie’s clear interest in the Nets. The Nets would be foolish to not offer Irving the max contract, with max years. Kyrie is probably the most “valuable” player on the market, considering his age, his skill and desire to become a better leader. But if Kyrie does indeed choose Brooklyn, where does that leave D’Angelo Russell? “DLo” finds himself in a tough position with this trade. The All-Star Point Guard could be getting replaced in some ways. He would still be starting for the Nets, but Russell knows he needs to be the first option, he’s too young and skilled to be calling for passes while Kyrie razzles and dazzles his way to fancy finishes. Russell could take one for the team, he could resign and learn from Kyrie, be an excellent second option, but I simply believe it’s in “DLo’s” best interest to be a first option scorer, or if he is a second option, to play with someone who is willing to give up the ball a little more than Kyrie does.

Kevin Durant also finds himself looking into Brooklyn, however, I do not believe he will go to Brooklyn unless Kyrie Irving goes there first. I don’t think having “DLo” is enough to convince Durant to sign with Brooklyn. Durant won’t leave a winning team unless he can go to another winning team. A Russell/Durant (not Westbrook) duo would be very strong, but Durant would probably prefer Kyrie Irving.

So here’s the summary of what this trade does for free agency…

It pretty much solidifies a Kyrie Irving to Brooklyn scenario. It raises concerns regarding D’Angelo Russell’s future in Brooklyn, and it allows for Durant to join Kyrie if he so chooses. It also raises the question, where could D’Angelo Russell go? I won’t dive into it too deep, but I see Indiana, Dallas, and Milwaukee as potential destinations if Kyrie takes “DLo’s” spot.

This also changes a lot of things for the Hawks. Atlanta is quietly stockpiling picks, already with Trae Young and John Collins leading the way, the Hawks currently have 3 of the top 20 picks in this years draft (8, 10, 17) amounting for a total of 5 picks in this year’s draft. Clearly, the Hawks have no need for 5 rookies, but it does put them in a position to trade up to a top 5 pick. The Hawks could be looking at a multitude of players, and it makes perfect sense for them to trade up and pick someone like Cam Reddish, Rui Hachimura, or De’Andre Hunter. The Hawks also have a plethora of future first and second-round picks. These could be very useful to trade up in the future, or scoop up more young players and slowly build a dynasty. In this trade alone, the Hawks take on Allen Crabbe’s contract, but also scoop up two more first round picks to add to their stockpile. Almost every recent Hawks trade involves them getting draft picks. The trade for Trae Young with the Mavericks awarded the Hawks even more picks. The Hawks find themselves in an excellent position. Their roster is actually somewhat respectable, they have so much young talent in players like Kevin Huerter, Trae Young and John Collins. Their only downfall is expensive contracts. The Hawks carry both Kent Bazemore and Allen Crabbe’s contracts, which could come back to bite them if they hope to make any free agency noise. Both of these contracts near their end though, and when they both expire, the Hawks will have max slots, young talent, and a ton of first round picks. As long as they don’t mess it all up. the Hawks front office could be bringing some of the best days Atlanta has seen upon the city once more.

Apr 8, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince (12) celebrates during the second half of Atlanta’s 112-106 win over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

So who wins this trade?

Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks, Allen Crabbe

Who loses this trade?

D’Angelo Russell, Taurean Prince (maybe)

This was a good trade for both teams, the Hawks continue on the rebuild path, and the Nets put themselves in a position to take the league by storm. Both of these teams could lose it all with one bad move though, so nothing is certain as a result of this trade.

I want to hear your guys’ thoughts on this trade. Who do you think won, and why? Leave your answers in the comments, and I’ll reply to them all!

Thanks for reading and as always… LETS RIDE

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