Boston Celtics

CHAPEL HILL, NC – SEPTEMBER 28: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics reacts during their game against the Charlotte Hornets during the preseason game at Dean Smith Center on September 28, 2018 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

The Brooklyn Nets are officially in on Kyrie Irving.

Considered one of the teams to watch since Irving Watch started last summer, the Nets’ pursuit of Irving (and more) officially became real on Thursday by way of a trade that sent Allen Crabbe and his $18.5 million salary to the Atlanta Hawks.

With Crabbe off their books, the Nets now have the space to add a max-contract free agent (or two in the event that pending restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell leaves), and are serious about Irving, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Per Woj, the Nets are interested in beating the Knicks to the punch and adding both Irving and Kevin Durant to their team this summer, and it’s believed that Irving is now viewing the Nets as a real destination. A New Jersey native, it’s no secret that Irving grew up a fan of the Nets, and a move to Brooklyn would be close enough to Irving’s offseason home in NYC.

Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said that the team has not been given any indication that Irving is going to move on from the Celtics.

Irving averaged 23.8 points and 6.9 assists per game for the Celtics in 2018-19.