The Brooklyn Nets have been the subject of immense scrutiny this offseason due to Kevin Durant requesting a trade and Kyrie Irving being denied a long-term extension. While the Durant saga ended Tuesday, there are rumors circulating now that the Nets were interested in Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins.
According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Nets were interested in Collins and have been for years. However, no trade materialized as the Nets believed a trade package with Collins as the best player wasn't enough for Kevin Durant.
Scotto wrote that multiple members of Brooklyn's front office have been admirers of Collins from afar for years now. However, Collin by himself wasn't good enough to headline a trade that would have seen Durant go the Hawks.
All such talks should come to an end now after Kevin Durant agreed to stay with the Brooklyn Nets. Durant's trade request got more attention after he gave owner Joe Tsai an ultimatum. Tsai had to either keep Durant or coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks.
Immediately after, Joe Tsai voiced his support for the front office and the coach in a tweet. Durant didn't hold any leverage as he has four years left on his current deal with no player-option. He signed a four-year extension last year worth $198 million, which kicks in this upcoming season.
What's the best the Brooklyn Nets could have received from the Atlanta Hawks?
The possibility of trading a player like Kevin Durant was always going to be tough. No player of Durant's caliber, with so many years left on his contract, has ever been traded. The closest were Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis, but both were on expiring contracts and held leverage.
The Brooklyn Nets made it clear that they wanted draft capital and at least an All-Star in return for Durant. The franchise was still looking to stay competitive, hence the need for an All-Star.
The Hawks could have packaged John Collins and Bogdan Bogdanovic for Durant as their salaries would have matched. While neither Collins nor Bogdonavic are All-Stars, the former has the potential to become one while the latter is a sharpshooter extraordinaire.
The Atlanta Hawks also have five first-rounders remaining this decade, which they could have included in a trade for Durant. With Kevin Durant agreeing to stay with the Brooklyn Nets, all trade rumors involving the two-time champion are all but over for now.