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"We are Brooklyn"? Nets fail to deal three highest paid players, but trade Garnett to Minnesota

As I wrote last month, in my 2015 preview, we should expect at least one and maybe more of the Nets' high-priced players pictured in the "We Are Brooklyn" signage to be gone by September.

Indeed, Kevin Garnett--seen as likely to retire at the end of the season--waived his no-trade clause today to return to Minnesota, where he spent most of his career. That means all three Boston Celtics (including Paul Pierce and Jason Terry) for which the Nets gave up significant assets are gone.

Despite putting the other three players--Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, and Brook Lopez--on the block, none were traded.

As Bleacher Report's Howard Beck suggested, "The Pierce-KG deal may haunt Nets for awhile, but getting Thad Young for semiretired KG is a coup, and helps offset the loss of picks."

The Daily News's Stefan Bondy was more critical, writing:
They’re all gone from the big trade with the Boston Celtics, the deal that was supposed to launch the Nets into title contention. They’re scattered around the league just 19 months after gathering for an introductory press conference at Barclays Center, and the Nets are out of three first-round draft picks without so much as a division banner to show for it.
Still, the Nets had a rough day, "[c]ouldn't move any of their three max players," according to Beck, nor the much discussed deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder for guard Reggie Jackson. 

Also, rivals Miami Heat and Detroit Pistons improved, which doesn't help, since the Nets losing simply means that Atlanta, which owns their draft pick, gets stronger.