On September 27, the Brooklyn Nets will officially open their training camp. This comes on the heels of perhaps one of the more tumultuous summers that a team has faced in recent memory. Between the uncertainty of Kyrie Irving’s player option, Kevin Durant’s trade request, and Ben Simmons’ surgery, the Nets should feel fortunate that they will get to finally debut their All-Star trio on opening night.
When you look at the Nets’ roster on paper, they do have one of the more complete rosters in the association. With Durant and Irving’s ability to score in volumes, the defense and playmaking of Simmons, and the long-range shooting of Seth Curry and Joe Harris, the Nets check nearly every box when it comes to their current roster.
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Kendrick Perkins Calls Out Nicolas Claxton
But Brooklyn’s one glaring weakness is the center position. Brooklyn has a stable of centers that consists of Day’Ron Sharpe and Nicolas Claxton, two raw talents who are extremely young. However, of the two young big men, Claxton is the one who got paid this summer, inking a 2-year, $17.2 million deal to remain with the franchise.
As a result, the former Georgia Bulldog is expected to take his game to the next level. One of the people with their eye on Claxton is Durant’s former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kendrick Perkins, who says he needs to see more out of the Nets’ rising star.
“Ben Simmons does [intrigue]. I ain’t gonna lie, I have to see a little bit more out of [Nicolas] Claxton. I need to see a little more pit bull out of Claxton,” Perkins said in an interview with Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports.
“Now on the break, both of those guys are freaks of nature, and I thought that was missing out of him a lot of last season. Like, we saw it in spurts but, I need to see it more consistently.”
Claxton Details His Growing Confidence
Kyrie missed the first half of the season after refusing to get the COVID vaccine, and to add more salt to the wound, injuries to key players such as Joe Harris and Kevin Durant had the Nets roster decimated last season. It meant that several of their reserves would have to step up in the absence of those players.
Claxton was one of the Nets players who had no problem answering the bell, as he continued to improve with each game played last season. In December, Claxton spoke to Brian Lewis of the New York Post about what contributed to his growing confidence.
“It’s definitely good in growing confidence, The coaching staff trusting me to finish big games and my teammates trusting me to go out and make plays,” Claxton said to the “New York Post”
“I went out and made it happen, so my confidence is definitely growing. I’m looking forward to just continuing to do what I’m doing and the sky’s the limit.”
With the Nets still having championship aspirations, Claxton will be a vital part of their roster this season. To ensure their success, Brooklyn will need him to continue to improve after an impressive 2022 campaign.