The Brooklyn Nets are trading away the No. 27 pick in the first round to the Los Angeles Clippers in a move that clear salary cap space.
The Brooklyn Nets have now traded both of their first-round picks in the 2019 NBA Draft. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets are sending the No. 27 pick (Mfiondu Kabengele from Florida St.) to the Los Angeles Clippers for a 2020 first-round pick (via Philadelphia) and pick No. 56 on Thursday.
At first glance, it may seem strange that the Nets traded away both of their first-round picks. They previously dealt the No. 17 pick in a deal that brought back Taurean Prince from the Atlanta Hawks. Allen Crabbe was also traded to Atlanta in that deal in what was essentially a salary dump, even though Prince will definitely be a rotation guy for the Nets.
However, the Nets are making their intentions this summer crystal clear. General manager Sean Marks is aggressive in his pursuit to clear enough cap space to sign two max free agents this summer.
The Nets have already been heavily linked to Kyrie Irving and there’s no doubt that they’ll be in the mix for Kevin Durant as well. Brooklyn will also make a play for reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard as well.
In short, the plan is to sign two superstars who can take the Nets from a plucky group of overachievers to a legitimate Finals contender.
These trades clear some much-needed cap space for Brooklyn and they already have a strong core of young players to continue developing. The 2019 draft class is widely viewed as a historically weak group so it’s unlikely that these trades come back to bite them.