What the Deal Means Moving forward
Make no mistake about it, Taurean Prince is a better player than Allen Crabbe. This move was about the Atlanta Hawks gaining assets and the Brooklyn Nets clearing salary cap space to make a huge splash on this year’s free agent market. In making this deal the Atlanta Hawks swap the affordable contract of Prince, who will make about 3.5 million dollars next season, for the expensive contract of Crabbe, who is scheduled to make 18.5 million in the upcoming NBA campaign. This clears enough cap space for Brooklyn, to allow them to make a run at Kyrie Irvin and other top NBA Free Agents. It also gives them the option of resigning star guard D’Angelo Russell who is a restricted free agent, or letting him become an unrestricted free agent and signing another max contract star player.
The Atlanta Hawks were well compensated for the talent of Taurean Prince and taking on the salary of Allen Crabbe. By adding a third first round pick in the upcoming draft, Atlanta now has the draft capital to acquire any player in this draft aside from Zion Williamson or Ja Morant. It’s now just a matter of rather Atlanta is willing to pay the price to move up. The Hawks also have the ability to trade down or trade out of a pick, should another team covet a player and offer more future draft assets. Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted about some of the Hawks’ possibilities:
Schlenk is a Master of Asset Acquisition
Speaking of future assets, no team has more draft assets moving forward than the Atlanta Hawks. In addition to the three first round draft picks this year, the Hawks have their own pick in 2020 and are very likely to receive the Nets lottery protected pick in 2020 as well. Should the Cleveland Cavaliers improve enough to pick outside of the top ten, Atlanta will also receive their first round pick, to compete the Kyle Korver trade from 2017. The Hawks also own the rights to the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first round pick in 2022, as long as they make the playoffs from the Carmelo Anthony, Dennis Schröder deal. Counting their own first round picks, that is nine potential first round selections in the next four drafts. This gives Atlanta the flexibility to be involved in trade talks, whenever a good player that fits the team hits the market.