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For many years in the future, the Brooklyn Nets will serve as an interesting case study. Future academics, scholars, and the brightest minds will work tirelessly to understand how everything can go so wrong for an NBA team.

In January 2021, the Nets traded for James Harden, which cemented a legitimate big three. Harden, alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, was the best trio of teammates ever - on paper, at least. 

Fast forward 13 months and Harden is traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons and a cadre of serviceable role players. Simmons never played a game for the Nets, who got swept by the Boston Celtics in the 2022 Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Since the dust settled after the season, Irving opted into the final year of his contract in Brooklyn. In contrast, Durant has given the team owner Joe Tsai an ultimatum between himself or the coach and general manager. Tsai balked at Durant's move.

As we covered yesterday, Durant's bold move immediately fired up trade talks thought to be dormant. An online sportsbook gave the Atlanta Hawks solid odds of landing the All-NBA forward via trade. 

Bleacher Report suggested a trade package for the Hawks and Nets. Below are the costly trade packages.

Atlanta Hawks Big Three

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) hug after the Nets defeated the Hawks at State Farm Arena.

Trae Young and Kevin Durant hug after a game in December 2021.

Hawks Recieve: F Kevin Durant

Nets Receive: F/C John Collins, F De'Andre Hunter, C Onyeka Okongwu, F AJ Griffin, 2023, 2024 (via Sacramento Kings), and 2029 first-round picks

We will not knock author Greg Swartz's article because we are not fond of the trade proposal. Theoretically, it makes sense. Swartz makes a solid argument for why both teams would make the trade.

There is no denying that Durant is perhaps the greatest power forward of all time. But trading three key players, a rookie, and further depleting your draft capital seems foolhardy for the Hawks. 

Atlanta's front office has carefully created a well-balanced team that is a fringe contender while maintaining some level of financial flexibility. Blowing up all that hard work is not the right move. Stay locked into for breaking news, highlights, and analysis.

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