Wojnarowski, citing league sources, reports that Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving - who is expected to hit free agency - and Brooklyn have a strong mutual interest, and Thursday's deal effectively opens up an additional max slot for the Nets.
Brooklyn is being viewed as a potentially significant player in free agency this summer, with Kyrie Irving being the most notable name linked to the Nets.
Irving and Durant have been viewed as a potential package deal for a while. This clears space for him, or perhaps another star free agent.
Their team can point to its famous arena, a far larger fan base in the city and the glory that would accrue from bringing one of the league's marquee franchises its first championship in nearly five decades.
Not surprisingly it's unlikely in a top-loaded draft for there to be a realistic chance of the Hawks turning their current picks into one of the coveted top-three picks, not with Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and R.J. "This has been New York's plan all along - and this has been Brooklyn's - but NY, because I think there is a sense that Kevin Durant had a level of intrigue with the Knicks, that they were going to be - if Kevin Durant left Golden State - the Knicks would be the frontrunners for Kevin Durant". In Durant's case, he may well choose to stick with the Warriors and while it would be something of a shock at this point if Irving re-upped with the Celtics, there are other squads with cap space to spare. He should play a big role in Atlanta's rebuilding efforts. The Los Angeles Lakers have room for one max contract, LeBron James, although the appeal of playing with him may not be what it once was. The same will also happen in 2022 if the pick is still lottery protected in 2021, though after that, it will convert to two second-round picks.
That much allows Brooklyn to sign a big-name free agent or two this summer.
The Nets exceeded expectations last season and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2014-15. 8, 10 and 17.
Now that this deal has taken place, the Atlanta Hawks have an utter glut of options in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Nets shooting guard Allen Crabbe is reportedly headed to the Hawks for small forward Taurean Prince.