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REPORT: Nets acted fast in trading Allen Crabbe, clearing cap space to have a ‘comfort level’ going into free agency

Allen Crabbe, Taurean Prince

The Brooklyn Nets traded Allen Crabbe to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday in salary cap-clearing move.

Brooklyn sent Crabbe, along with the 17th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and a lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick, to the Atlanta Hawks. In return, the Nets acquired Taurean Prince and a 2021 second-round pick. The deal caught some teams by surprise, but according to ESPN Insider Bobby Marks, Brooklyn needed to move fast.

The Nets reportedly had to strike the deal to “get their house in order” and get some “comfort level” heading into the free-agency period. Brooklyn is looking to make a huge splash in free agency, as they are expected to pursue top-tier players who will be on the market in July.

The deal helped the Nets clear the $18.5 million salary of Crabbe off their books. They now have $46 million in cap room, and could increase to $60 million, depending on how they will handle D’Angelo Russell’s free agency. If they eventually let Russell go, Brooklyn will have cap room for two max-level free agents this summer.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Nets are eyeing Boston Celtics superstar Kyrie Irving. He said that Irving is also interested in moving to Brooklyn. Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant will also be a target for the Nets when he hits the market in the offseason.