The Brooklyn Nets have their eyes on the prize of making the playoffs in 2023-24 and hopefully win a series or two with their current roster. It looks like Brooklyn may have to worry about some of their players being available next summer.
Per Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report, Nets center Nic Claxton is ranked as the 11th-best projected free-agent in the 2024 class. Nets Wire recently covered Brooklyn guard Spencer Dinwiddie being ranked as the 21st-best projected free-agent in that class. The reason that the list is of projected free-agents is that there is a possibility that some of the players in these rankings will sign extensions with their current team before hitting the open market.
Claxton, 24, showed a lot for the Nets fanbase during the 2022-23 campaign as he averaged career-highs in points, rebounds, assists, and field-goal percentage during a season in which he played the most minutes in one season by a long shot. Claxton was so good on the defensive end that he ranked 15th in the NBA in voting for the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Here’s why Bailey ranked Claxton at 11th on his list:
“Nic Claxton had a breakout campaign in 2022-23 with the Brooklyn Nets. He averaged a career-high 12.6 points and shot a league-leading 70.5 percent from the field.
Over the course of the season, it became clear that he’s one of the NBA’s most explosive rim-runners. His ability to catch, quickly elevate and dunk—or quickly elevate, catch and dunk in the case of alley-oops—forces defenses to pay attention to his cuts. That frees up precious extra tenths of a second for shooters to get attempts off in front of defenders recovering from Claxton in the middle of the floor.
Perhaps more importantly, though, Claxton’s defensive numbers skyrocketed in 2022-23.
He averaged career highs in defensive rebounds (6.8), blocks (2.5) and steals (0.9), and those increases weren’t simply the result of more minutes. His defensive rebound percentage and block percentage both took off like he was chasing a lob.”