As much as Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince loved playing for the Nets, both admitted they would have done what general manager Sean Marks did when he traded them to the Cavaliers as part of a four-team deal to acquire three-time NBA scoring champion James Harden a week ago.
"In all honesty, I would do it," Allen said during his introductory news conference with the Cavs on Monday. "I’m not going to lie. If I take myself out of it, I would love to stay in Brooklyn, but I understand in an opportunity like that you have to go get it."
Prince agreed the opportunity to pair Harden with superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving was too good to pass up. "To be completely honest, yeah," Prince said. "You’ve got James Harden, one of the best scorers we’ve seen in our generation, same with Kev and Kyrie. I probably would have done the same thing. At the end of the day as a GM, you have to make sure you have the best basketball team you can have.
"I’ve still got a big heart for the Nets. They helped me get better."
As fate would have it, a two-game set against the Wizards was postponed for COVID-19 precautions, so, Allen and Prince will make their Cavs debuts in a two-game set against the Nets on Wednesday and Friday nights in Cleveland. Allen, 22, who was the Nets’ No. 1 pick in 2017 admitted his disappointment.
"It was definitely rough on me," Allen said. "Even though you say it’s the business of basketball, it never makes it easier."
Nets 2016 No. 1 pick Caris LeVert also was part of the deal, being shipped to the Rockets and then the Pacers. "It was tough with me and Caris being traded," Allen said. "I hate to say it like this, but being a part of the core in Brooklyn, it was definitely tough to see…We both felt it."