The Brooklyn Nets made various roster upgrades this offseason. The most high profile, of course, were Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and DeAndre Jordan. However, Taurean Prince and his impact in a contract year shouldn’t be overlooked.
Taurean Prince’s journey to get to this point in his career hasn’t always been smooth sailing; he’s had more than his fair share of tumultuous moments but we’re not here to focus on that today. We’re here to evaluate his value to a Brooklyn Nets roster that has seen a massive overhaul this offseason. And that value could be significant.
The Nets acquired Prince in what was seen primarily as a salary dump with Allen Crabbe heading the other way to Atlanta. However, though the move may have been perceived as such, Prince might finally breakthrough in Brooklyn and showcase his tremendous upside for Atkinson and company.
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Taurean Prince was the 12th pick in the 2016 draft out of Baylor University. Utah traded his rights to the Atlanta Hawks a few weeks after the draft. He saw limited playing time during his rookie season but took off in year two. Prince started in all 82 games for the Hawks in 2017-18, averaging 14.1 points, 47 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game while shooting over 38% from three.
Last season Prince appeared in 55 games, missing time with an ankle sprain. His line was 13.5/3.6/2.1 while shooting 39% from range. He also added a steal per game.
Prince has the makeup of a prototypical “3 and D” wing in today’s NBA but often lacks consistency on the defensive end. We took a deeper look at his offensive arsenal while touching base on his defensive abilities in a previous article, which you can read here.
His three-point shooting prowess is noteworthy and he should get plenty of looks with players like Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Caris LeVert distributing the rock.
Dinwiddie, in particular, seems to be looking forward to dishing it out to the young wing:
His seven-foot wingspan allows him to get his shot off quickly before contests but also gives him the length to guard either forward spot. With Kevin Durant looking to be out for most of the season, Prince could see time at the four. He’s six-foot-eight, but with a solid rim protector next to him at all times, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Finally, this is a contract year for Prince. He’s eligible to become a Restricted Free Agent after this season, so look for him to have a big one. It’s in both his and the Nets best interest that Prince takes a next step this year regardless, as Brooklyn has the right to match any offer sheet he receives.
Still just 25 years old, Taurean Prince is a Kenny Atkinson type of player. Atkinson should be able to refine Prince’s skills and being on a winning roster around as much talent as the Nets have can only benefit him even more. Brooklyn will rely on Prince’s sharpshooting to make a deep playoff run in the 2019-2020 season.