Full Recap of the Nets-Hawks Trade

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Nets-Hawks trade
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

At first glance this is a pretty “whatever” trade. A basic salary dump if you will, until you take a look at the teams involved and what this could mean for their futures.

First, to start off with the Nets.

They have opened up two max roster spots, which leads to speculation that they know that they all but have a superstar in the bag. The Nets gave up a top twenty pick and a 2020 lottery protected first round pick (through three years and if they do not convey it, it becomes two second rounders) which would indicate they are taking a more win now. According to sources, Kyrie is serious about them, and they are serious about the top free agents this year. The name of this superstar, however, is unknown and many believe that it is Celtics guard, Kyrie Irving. Irving and the Nets have been linked since the start of the season and Irving himself has been pretty transparent about being interested in the Nets as a potential destination.

Come with me down the rabbit hole. In the likely scenario that the Nets sign Kyrie, (where there’s smoke there’s fire, but Kyrie is a weirdo who knows what’s going on in that head of his) they are almost certainly going to renounce D’Angelo Russell’s rights and go all in for Jimmy Butler (also tied to the Nets and Kyrie) because a D’Angelo Russell and Kyrie Irving backcourt would be an absolute disaster on defense. However, since the Nets have Russell’s bird rights they can match any offer sheet for him and potentially use him in a push for an Anthony Davis trade.

Even though it may be a pipe dream, it might be possible that the Nets can sign both Kyrie and Jimmy and then offer the Pelicans a deal centered around Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince and whatever else to make salaries work. The main reason many teams are afraid to trade for Anthony Davis is the fact that he may not resign with them. However, if you pair him with another super star in a big market city with competent coaching and an extremely smart front office who will give them all they need to succeed, I am confident he will succeed.

Davis seems like a loyal player who only wants to win, and the Nets have the proper infrastructure to make his dream a reality. Now, many people will say there is no way the Pelicans accept that trade offer but it is becoming more and more obvious that Davis will not be traded for anything of true value and rather a ton of assets. Given the lack of years on his contract and his unwillingness to play in New Orleans, they may be forced to trade him for less than his perceived value because they waited too long.

It’s also important to mention that Taurean Prince was included in this trade. He is a player who is theoretically a solid piece on a contending team, but really leaves a ton on the table as far as doing any more than being big, an average shooter, and a fairly lackluster defender. Prince should not be valued any higher than a second round pick.

Now for the trade from the Hawks perspective.

The Hawks have their whole Warriors copy thing going on, and they want as much shooting on their team as possible. If Allen Crabbe can’t do anything else, he can shoot. He has been one of the league’s top perimeter threats for some years now and is a good pick up for the Nets even though he was perceived as just a salary dump. The Hawks now have picks 8, 10, 17, 35, 41, and 44 in this draft. They reportedly have no interest in moving the eighth pick and will try to use the tenth pick to move back and acquire future assets (which is a great move in this draft where the difference between picks ten and twenty five are minimal and equal value can be gleaned from a player later in the first round, while getting assets in a projected stronger draft).

The goal in this draft for the Hawks should not be to move up, but rather move back and collect as many assets as possible. (Their own more aesthetically pleasing version of “The Process”) However, Woj reported that they are interested in a trade centered around the tenth pick to obtain the fifth pick from Cleveland and take a shot at Cam Reddish, Jarrett Culver, or DeAndre Hunter to bolster their defense. The Hawks are rebuilding in a picture perfect way and other teams around the league should take notes.

This is a win-win trade for both sides. Both front offices are well respected and seem to be playing chess while other front offices are merely playing checkers. However, you have to recognize the comedy in both the Nets trading their first first round pick since the infamous Celtics trade and them likely stealing a superstar from the Celtics to help form the super team that should have been in 2013. Move over Knicks, the Nets aren’t ‘little brother’ anymore.

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