Chicago Bulls: Impact Allen Crabbe Nets-Hawks trade brings

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets kicked off trade season with a deal involving Allen Crabbe. How does that impact the Chicago Bulls?

It would have to be the biggest trade of the off-season thus far. That’s largely because there was not much thus far entering the summer months in the way of the trade market. We haven’t seen the New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis or Memphis Grizzlies veteran star point guard Mike Conley dished out yet, among other. But how does this latest trade involving the former Brooklyn Nets wing Allen Crabbe impact the Chicago Bulls?

Allen Crabbe is now finding his way from Nets to the Atlanta Hawks in a trade that will have a direct impact on the night of June 20, which is the beginning of the 2019 NBA Draft. The Nets shipped Crabbe and two draft picks out to the Hawks for a return of former Baylor Bears small forward Taurean Prince and a future second round pick.

The two draft picks that the Nets included along with Crabbe to free up cap space ahead of a pivotal off-season in free agency were the 2019 No. 17 pick and a 2020 lottery protected first round pick. But what this does free up for the Nets is the ability to pursue two max contract players in free agency this summer.

Could this mean that the Nets are able to land two stars like former Chicago Bulls small forward and Philadelphia 76ers star Jimmy Butler to go along with Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving? Only time will tell if the off-season brings stars to Brooklyn that make the Nets an immediate contender in the Eastern Conference.

Yet, there are multiple ways that this trade will impact the Bulls. While landing Crabbe and the remainder of his massive, overpaid contract deal worth more than $18 million per year, the Hawks continue building for the future. The Hawks can use these two draft picks to keep building what those fans should feel like could be a true title contender in due time.

What this does take off the table is the opportunity to trade down for one of the Hawks first round picks. It also starts the dominos falling for teams that missed the playoffs last season, or barely made it in, that could take big jumps next year. The Bulls are in a similar position to the Hawks and the Nets in that sense.

Crabbe wasn’t really a trade target that the Bulls should’ve had any idea of targeting. Unless it brought an insane haul of draft picks and young pieces along with it, there was no benefit to the Bulls trading for Crabbe. Prince was a more realistic target, though, if the Hawks were to part with some picks for him too.

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More trades that have a bigger impact on the Bulls, outside of Allen Crabbe and Prince, are sure to come along soon. But there is a shift in the mid-level teams in the East around the Bulls now with the Hawks furthering their path to long-term contention and the Nets getting to free up a second max contract slot for the summer.