Nets Could Lose Prized Free Agent to West Contender: Report

The Brooklyn Nets roster should continue to 'evolve'

Getty The Brooklyn Nets roster should continue to 'evolve'

The Brooklyn Nets have several players from their 2022 roster scheduled to hit the open market on July 1, when the NBA’s free agency period officially opens. One name on the Nets’ list of free agents is their big man Nicolas Claxton who has improved his points, rebounds, and field goal percentage each season since he entered the league in 2019.

Claxton’s continued progression on a team as star-studded as the Nets is sure to garner some attention during the upcoming free agency period. One Eastern Conference general manager told Heavy’s own Sean Deveney that the Dallas Mavericks could be a potential landing spot for him, should he decide to part ways with the Nets.

“I think you’d see the Mavericks looking for a guy like that,” the general manager said to Deveney about Claxton. “Look, if the Nets are planning to match offers for him, it might not be easy for him to get an offer, to begin with. But a team that needs a young guy with a growing roster, Dallas makes a lot of sense, but can they arrange things so they can make a good offer.”

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Nets Expected To Match Any Offers for Claxton

Claxton has more raw talent than most young centers in the league. But his consistency has come into question as he often falls in and out of Nets head coach Steve Nash’s rotation. Instead of offering Claxton a larger deal, Brooklyn could go out and sign an effective center such as Dwight Howard or DeMarcus Cousins on a veteran’s minimum deal and be in a better position to win a title. But despite Claxton’s youth and sporadic place in the Nets’ rotation, Brooklyn is expected to match any offers for their young center.

“He is not going to get more than a midlevel offer from a team like Charlotte or Chicago, and if that is the case, they’re comfortable matching it. He is restricted, they can match anything another team gives him. He is looking at something like three years, $35 million,” one Eastern Conference general manager told Heavy’s, Sean Deveney.

“They are not sold on him as the big guy of the future but at that number, they’d keep him around, and know they can move him in a deal next summer if they have something better in mind. Trouble is, they’ve got a short window here so they can’t wait for him too long. But Sean (Marks) is a believer in development, and they are not going to give up on him that fast.”

Claxton May Not Be the Player That the Nets Need

The Nets have emphasized that they are trying to capitalize on their title window right now. If Brooklyn hopes to achieve that, Claxton may not be the player that they need at this point and time.

This summer, the Nets can choose to match any potential offers for Claxton or let him walk, similar to what happened with Spencer Dinwiddie last summer (who is coincidentally a member of the Mavericks right now after being traded there from the Washington Wizards in February).

Claxton, in just his third season has already come such a long way in his development as a player and could have an extremely high ceiling. It will be interesting to see what the market is for the Nets to keep him during this summer’s free agency.

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