In todays NBA, the curation of super teams is glorified by some as it is pleasing to the eye to watch the best talents in the league share the floor on a nightly basis. For others it is frowned upon because stacking the deck is viewed as taking the easy way out. But there is nothing easy about winning in the NBA. What often does not get talked about, is that when teams have a lot of talent, more often than not, it is difficult to construct a well-rounded roster because all of the money is tied into paying the salaries of the teams stars.
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Hornets Urged to Sign Nets Nicolas Claxton This Summer
The Brooklyn Nets have already been welcomed to this unfortunate reality. Last summer, they were unable to retain players such as Jeff Green and Spencer Dinwiddie because they could not match their market price without going over the salary cap. The Nets could be in a similar situation this summer as Bruce Brown, Nicolas Claxton, Andre Drummond, and LaMarcus Aldridge could all be free agents, which will leave them with some tough decisions to make. If the Nets are to let Claxton walk and test the free-agent market, Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report suggests that the Charlotte Hornets pursue Brooklyn’s rising big man.
“Nic Claxton is a switchable center who can defend the rim and provide vertical spacing as a lob threat. Other than an outside shot, the 23-year-old restricted free agent has everything a team could want in a big man,” Hughes writes per Bleacher Report.
“For the Charlotte Hornets, who need a presence in the middle more than most teams, Claxton’s athleticism and ability to run the floor would make him a perfect fit.”
Nets Would Have Tough Time Matching Offer Sheet for Claxton
The Hornets have a wealth of talent on their roster in LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, and Terry Rozier. But despite having a star-studded roster, the Hornets have missed the postseason in back-to-back years, after being eliminated from the play-in tournament in blowout fashion. As a 23-year-old, athletic, rim-running, lob-catching big man, Claxton could fit like a glove on an offense that is known for its up-tempo pace.
“The Nets are also familiar with Claxton’s abilities, but they’ve moved on from promising young centers in the past. Remember Jarrett Allen? Brooklyn may view Claxton as similarly fungible, especially if the Hornets send over an offer sheet for the full non-taxpayer mid-level exception starting above $10.3 million,” Hughes continued.
“The tax-hit Nets would have a hard time justifying a match at that rate. Charlotte needs a dynamic center that fits into the developmental curve of a core led by LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges. Claxton looks like an ideal option at a position of need.”
The Nets, unfortunately, will have to part ways with some key players on their roster this offseason if they hope to retain Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, and Kyrie Irving long-term. Claxton has proven to have tons of upside since the All-Star Break, as he is averaging 8.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game in that span.
But Brooklyn also has been getting stellar performances from Andre Drummond, who has proven to be a solid pickup averaging 11.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per contest. It will be interesting to see which role players the Nets decide to keep on their roster for next season.