Taurean Prince

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Atlanta Hawks trade two second round picks for cash

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The Atlanta Hawks came into this year’s NBA Draft with six picks: No. 8 and No. 10 in the lottery, No. 17 (acquired recently as part of the Allen Crabbe/Taurean Prince trade), plus three second rounders (35, 41, 44). While the Hawks are a young team looking for players to develop on the Trae Young and John Collins timeline, they were never going to use all six of those picks for players they wanted.

So they have sold off two of those picks for cash.

First, the No. 44 pick to the Miami Heat, as reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Now the No. 41 has been traded to Golden State, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and since confirmed by the team.

Players picked in the 41-44 range in recent drafts include Pat Connaughton, Tyler Dorsey, Damyean Dotson, and Bruce Brown. Some guys there never stick or make a roster, but sometimes teams can hit on a role player in that range.

Atlanta has been active trying to package a couple of their first-round picks to move up in the draft, something that could come together on a very active draft night. This is shaping up to be one of the most trade-heavy, chaotic drafts in years and Atlanta could be right in the middle of it.

Report: ‘Strong’ mutual interest between Kyrie Irving and Nets, who also want to sign Kevin Durant

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The Nets boldly asserted themselves in the free-agent market, agreeing yesterday to a trade that allows them to open double-max cap space.

How will Brooklyn spend that available money?

Kyrie Irving is clearly one target. The other is apparently Kevin Durant.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Boston guard Kyrie Irving — who is expected to become a free agent — and Brooklyn have a strong mutual interest, league sources told ESPN.

Brooklyn’s dream scenario is to lure Irving and Golden State’s Kevin Durant to the franchise, league sources said.

The Knicks are pursuing the same partnership, but league sources say that Irving’s interest in the Nets has increased and Brooklyn has emerged as a serious contender to attract Irving.

There’s suddenly a lot of momentum behind Irving joining the Nets. He remains enigmatic, and he can’t sign until July. But there’s a lot of smoke around this.

Irving and Durant have been viewed as a potential package deal for a while. Most speculation centered on the Knicks. It’s less clear whether Durant would go to Brooklyn.

Of course, two huge variables remain before Durant hits free agency: Will he play in the NBA Finals? Will the Warriors win a title? Either experience, or the lack thereof, could shape his thinking.

Even after trading Allen Crabbe and two first-round picks for Taurean Prince, the Nets still don’t project to have quite enough cap space to max out Durant and Irving. But the exact salary cap won’t be determined for a few weeks, and Brooklyn can still clear other salary if necessary.

If they settle for Irving and a less-experienced co-star – like Jimmy Butler or Tobias Harris – the Nets already project to have enough cap room.

But Irving and Durant are apparently the top targets.

Report: As Kyrie Irving rumors swirl, Nets trading two first-rounders to open cap space

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The Nets have bold ambitions this summer – trading for Anthony Davis, signing Kyrie Irving and maybe even Kevin Durant.

Now, Brooklyn will have the cap space to chase those stars.

Adrian Wojnarowski:

This trade can’t become official until July. Once it’s executed, Brooklyn will clear about an additional $17 million in cap space – bringing its total room to about $47 million. If they renounce D'Angelo Russell, the Nets can increase their cap space to a projected $68 million.

That’s enough for two max players, depending on experience level. It wouldn’t be quite enough for Irving and Durant, but if they both want to join Brooklyn, the Nets will find ways to clear a couple million more. No problem.

By trading two first-round picks in unloading Allen Crabbe‘s burdensome $18.5 million salary, Brooklyn loses positive assets to send the Pelicans in a Davis deal. But the Nets are better-situated to absorb Solomon Hill‘s unwanted $12,758,781 salary from New Orleans.

Brooklyn also gets Taurean Prince, a solid young player. The versatile forward could fit well into the Nets’ rebuild, complement incoming stars or even get flipped in another trade.

With Prince outgoing, Kent Bazemore and DeAndre’ Bembry are the only remaining Hawks from when general manager Travis Schlenk took over just two years ago. Schlenk is building Atlanta back up around Trae Young, John Collins and Kevin Huerter. Three first-rounders in the upcoming draft – Nos. 8, 10 and 17 – give Schlenk even more tools to craft the team as he desires.

The Hawks lose major cap space in this trade, but they avoid a decision on Prince, who will be extension-eligible this offseason or a restricted free agent in 2020. Besides, Atlanta is too early in its rebuild to attract major free agents this summer.

The Nets, on the other hand, clearly believe they’re primed to land a big fish.

Vince Carter makes it clear: ‘I’m coming back’ for 22nd season

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Vince Carter has said he thought he had one more season in him and wanted to return for a 22nd season.

Now he’s made it clear, he’s coming back. Here is what he said on the Winging It podcast with Kent Bazemore (hat tip Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution):

“I’m coming back.”

Will that be with the Hawks?

“I would like to. We’ll see what happens.”

Atlanta has a young core they like — Trae Young, John Collins, Taurean Prince and more — but they need to add talent to that mix. They can do that via the draft plus potentially trading Kent Bazemore (who will be an expiring contract). They might love to have a veteran like Carter in that locker room, but there are a few other teams that would like him in the mentor role as well. Plus, Carter can still give a team a solid 15 minutes a night off the bench.

Carter, at age 42, will have options. Atlanta may be just one of them.

Kevin Huerter dunks, stares down Jimmy Butler (VIDEO)

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Atlanta Hawks rookie Kevin Huerter contributed seven points, five assists, three rebounds, and two steals during his team’s win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night. He performed reasonably, and he’s often been a double-digit scorer for the Hawks this season.

But for Huerter, the moment of the game came for him on a breakaway dunk attempt with less than two minutes to go in the fourth quarter. In a close game, Taurean Prince was able to poke the ball away from Joel Embiid, leading to Huerter streaking down the floor with the ball.

Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler ran to recover, but couldn’t quite stop Huerter, who threw it through the rack.

That’s when Huerter stared down the wily vet.

Via Twitter:

If Butler is the kind of guy who likes “dogs” then perhaps he has a newfound respect for Huerter these days?

Trae Young beat the Sixers on a game-winning floater, 129-127.