NEW YORK — The Brooklyn Nets have agreed to trade guard Allen Crabbe, the first step into what they hope can be a big summer.
The Nets will deal him along with two first-round picks to the Atlanta Hawks in a deal that will clear additional salary cap space, possibly putting themselves in position to afford two top free agents.
The Nets will get forward Taurean Prince and a 2021 second-round pick in the deal, a person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press on Thursday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade cannot become official until July 6.
Brooklyn will hope to have secured at least one high-profile commitment in free agency by then. The Nets were already in position to be able to afford a max player and by moving Crabbe’s $18.5 million salary for 2019-20, more money will become available to them.
Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving are among the headline names in the class, and the Nets also have to decide if they want to re-sign point guard D’Angelo Russell, who will be a restricted free agent after being an All-Star for the first time.
In the trade, first reported by ESPN.com, the Nets will send the Hawks the No. 17 pick this year, along with a first-round pick in 2020. Most importantly, they moved Crabbe’s salary after his injury-plagued season in which he averaged 9.6 points in just 43 games.
The deal gives the Nets a chance to be spenders after making a surprising run to their first post-season since 2015, where they lost to Philadelphia in the first round. Brooklyn did it with a largely young and unproven core, and afterward players said they expected Brooklyn to try to sign one of the potential franchise changers who could be available.
Prince, a first-round pick in 2016, averaged 13.5 points last season.