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Nic Claxton Linked to Two Western Conference Teams

Apr 10, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton (33) controls the ball against Toronto Raptors center Malik Williams (35) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into his first career unrestricted free agency period, Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton is excited to begin the process.

“I think it’s exciting, for me at least,” Claxton said. “I know everybody’s situation is different, but for me personally, it’s fun, it’s exciting, the unknown of everything.”

Although the Nets reportedly want to bring him back, the 25-year-old is already being linked to two teams. According to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans are two teams to monitor this summer. However, Scotto clarifies he is “not sure yet how high the Grizzlies are on Claxton.”

Two teams with the ability to make a sign-and-trade agreement potentially happen are the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans. I know there are members of the Pelicans organization who like Claxton, and the future of Jonas Valanciunas is uncertain, given how close the team will be to the luxury tax next season and his lack of usage at the end of the games, including the Play-In loss to the Lakers. I know Grizzlies fans have been in my mentions and quote tweeting my Claxton video where he talked about being an unrestricted free agent, but I’m not sure yet how high the Grizzlies are on Claxton.

In his fifth season with the Nets, Claxton played and started 71 games. On the season, he averaged 11.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.1 blocks per game. Furthermore, Claxton shot 62.9% from the field.

Nic Claxton Linked to Two Western Conference Teams

Claxton Returning to Brooklyn Is “Over 50 Percent” Likely

Because of the team having his bird rights, the Nets can pay Claxton more than any other team can, in theory. In the sitdown with Scotto, Nets beat writer Brian Lewis talked about the odds of Claxton re-signing with the Nets. According to Lewis, he speculates the odds of the big man staying put are “over 50 percent.” Lewis mentions that Claxton told him directly last year he wanted to stay with the team. Furthermore, Lewis directly said the Nets “want him back.”

If you’re asking me over or under 50 percent if Claxton is back, I think it’s over 50 percent. I think the Nets have been fully aware that they were going to be staring down the barrel of his unrestricted free agency and have been preparing for it for some time. I’d go as far as saying they’ve been fretting over it because they’ve had to carve out the money for this. They want him back.

As far as Claxton, he told me last year that he wants to be back.

The Nets are unlikely to contend anytime soon, but Claxton is an important part of their current core. He has improved every year he has been in the league and can still grow as a player. Losing Claxton would be a big blow to the Nets roster.

The Last Word

Claxton is an intriguing young big man. He is a good contributor on both sides of the court and is still just 25 years old. Though his offensive game is still limited, he would still fit in very well with the New Orleans Pelicans or Memphis Grizzlies.


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