Nets general manager Sean Marks doesn’t need to pull the trigger on any substantial trades to help bolster his roster. As currently constructed, it’s about as close to flawless as it gets.
Still, that fact isn’t keeping Marks from doing his due diligence by exploring ways to even further improve the Nets, who are the odds-on favorite for the NBA title heading into the 2021-22 campaign.
Case in point: a report surfaced Tuesday that spilled on some of what Marks is exploring behind the scenes. During an appearance on “The Glue Guys” podcast, NBA writer Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report dished on who the Nets have offered in trades.
“I heard Nic Claxton’s name pop up a little bit,” Fischer said. “Now people probably don’t want that out there, but it’s definitely true.”
Fischer added that the Nets are not actively shopping Claxton, but teams were surprised that Brooklyn has been willing to listen to offers at all.
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Claxton Teeming With Potential
The Nets are so deep at this point that Claxton is listed as the fourth-string center on the depth chart, according to ESPN. ESPN lists, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap and Blake Griffin ahead of Claxton.
Still, Claxton a 22-year-old whom the Nets selected out of Georgia with the 31st pick in the second round of the 2019 draft, has shown heaps of promise for Brooklyn. The 6-foot-11 center averaged 6.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 18.6 minutes while appearing in 32 games last season for the Nets.
While all of that was great, Claxton had an Achilles’ heel: shooting. While he was 62.1 percent shooting from the floor, he was only 48.4 percent shooting from the free-throw line – a season after shooting just 52.4 percent from the charity stripe.
Enter Kyle Korver. One of the game’s greatest all-time shooters, Korver was hired this offseason to be the Nets’ newest player development coach and has already gotten to work with Claxton.
“Everything that he does is easy for me to understand,” Claxton said, per Nets beat writer Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. “Of course his body of work, what he did, speaks for itself. But everything is relatable. He knows how to get through.”
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Durant Has Influence on Nets Roster
As arguably the best player in the world, Kevin Durant’s thoughts on roster construction hold significant weight. The opinions of Kyrie Irving and James Harden also matter. Marks explained as much during a media session earlier this offseason.
“Those three are incredibly talented without a doubt,” Marks said, per NBA.com. “We’re very fortunate to have those guys on the roster and also participating in — and we talk about this a lot — participating in the roster build. There’s no surprises for them. They knew what we were doing as we go through the first three, four, five days of free agency. And it’s not just those guys. We involve a lot of the players in these decisions because with their up-close and personal playing against these guys, who am I to tell them who can’t play and who’s better? I’ve gotta take their opinions and I enjoy those conversations, honest conversations. We don’t always agree, but at the same time, I think it’s great to have those conversations.”