Nets are Trading Jeremy Lin to the Atlanta Hawks
The Brooklyn Nets are expected to complete separate trades Friday that end their association with the veteran point guard Jeremy Lin but potentially add a valuable first-round pick in the 2019 draft, according to two people with knowledge of the transactions.
The Nets have agreed to trade Lin to the Atlanta Hawks in the first deal, according to the people, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the move publicly.
In the second deal, according to the people, Denver has agreed to send a 2019 first-round pick to the Nets that is lottery-protected from 1-to-12 as the reward for Brooklyn’s willingness to acquire the veteran forwards Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur from the Nuggets.
The Nets have trade calls scheduled with the league office Friday morning to make both deals official, according to the people.
Because both Faried and Arthur, like Lin, are entering the final year of their respective contracts, neither trade will impact the Nets’ plan to have sufficient salary-cap space to chase two maximum-contract free agents in July 2019.
ESPN first reported the two trade agreements early Friday.
The Nets had to find a trade for Lin first to create the needed flexibility to take on the salaries of Faried and Arthur. Injuries allowed Lin to appear in only 37 games over the past two seasons — including a season-ending knee injury on opening night last October. But Atlanta was motivated to acquire Lin to help ease the transition of its prized rookie Trae Young to the N.B.A., according to the people.
Lin, who turns 30 in August, is entering the final season of a three-year, $38 million deal he received from the Nets in the summer of 2016. He has a longstanding fan in Atlanta General Manager Travis Schlenk, who was part of the Golden State Warriors’ organization when Lin broke into the N.B.A. with the Warriors as an undrafted guard out of Harvard in the summer of 2010.
The full trade for Lin, according to the people, calls for Atlanta to send the Nets its 2020 second-round pick and the rights to 2016 draftee Isaia Cordinier, who is not expected to leave his native France to play for Brooklyn. In addition to Lin, Atlanta will receive the Nets’ 2025 second-round pick and have the right to swap 2023 second-round picks with Brooklyn.
The acquisition of Lin will set up the Hawks to more aggressively shop Atlanta’s incumbent starting point guard Dennis Schroder in trades, according to the people. Young is regarded as the Hawks’ lead guard of the future after Schlenk acquired the former Oklahoma star on draft night, as well as 2019 first-round pick, in a major trade with the Dallas Mavericks that landed the No. 3 overall pick Luka Doncic in Dallas.
The Nets’ deal with Denver, meanwhile, calls for Brooklyn to surrender the guard Isaiah Whitehead in exchange for Faried, Arthur, Denver’s second-round pick in 2020 and the protected 2019 first-round pick.
Shedding the salaries of Faried and Arthur, on top of last week’s trade that sent Wilson Chandler to Philadelphia, will take the Nuggets completely out of luxury-tax territory for next season. It also gave Denver the financial flexibility to come to terms with the former All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas on a one-year deal at the veteran minimum of $2 million, according to ESPN. Thomas is still recovering from the hip ailment that has plagued him for more than a year.
The Nets were willing to take on the Faried and Arthur contracts purely for the opportunity to acquire another first-round pick in the 2019 draft. But even if the Nuggets’ pick next year falls in the top 12, thus delaying when the Nets receive it, Brooklyn will have control of its own first-round pick in 2019 — something the Nets haven’t been able to say for five years thanks to the costly trade they made with Boston in 2013 to acquire Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.