The Brooklyn Nets’ decision to send two first-round picks to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday to rid themselves of Allen Crabbe’s contract was more than likely a harbinger of things to come.
At the very least, that’s what rival executives around the NBA believe.
“Several opposing executives, speaking generally, said a team wouldn’t surrender two first round picks to clear cap space — such as the Nets did on Thursday — without an indication that they have a strong chance to land at least one top free agent,” Ian Begley of SNY noted Friday.
“(General manager) Sean (Marks) is going for it. The nets are all in,” a rival executive told Begley. That really is no surprise. Sending one first-round pick (No. 17 in 2019) is one thing. Adding an additional 2020 first-round pick (top-14 protected) is a completely different thing.
So what might Marks and Co. have up their sleeves? There’s a lot to look at here.
- Previous indications were that the Nets seemed happy with the idea of teaming D’Angelo Russell up with Kyrie Irving in the backcourt.
- Russell is a pending restricted free agent and is already drawing some interest.
- If the Nets were to renounce Russell and make a couple other minor moves, they’d have room for two max-contract players.
- It also looks like Brooklyn is now odds-on favorites to land Kyrie Irving in free agency.
- Irving himself is said to already be recruiting Kevin Durant to Brooklyn. Whether that’s true remains to be seen.
- A backup option to these two is reportedly Philadelphia 76ers star Jimmy Butler.
- Brooklyn is also seen as a potential landing spot for Anthony Davis in a trade. Though, sending a 2020 first rounder to Atlanta might complicate that.
Either way we spin it, the Nets are putting all of their chips into the pot this summer. And unlike the Knicks, it could be for good reason.