Nic Claxton Questions His Brooklyn Nets Future

Nic Claxton had a breakout season in 2022-23 for the Brooklyn Nets, elevating himself to starter's status, and dominating at the rim with 2.5 blocked shots per game, tied for the second-most rejections in the entire NBA. 

But he'll be on an expiring contract this coming season, earning $8.75M. He'll hit free agency next summer. 

At a youth basketball camp in Brooklyn this weekend, he was asked by one of the kids whether he'll be staying with the Nets next year. His answer wasn't exactly a reassuring one for Nets fans—young or old.

“We'll see. I would love to stay with the Nets, though, but... We'll see," was all Claxton told the young one. 

As he has four years or less experience, The Slim Reaper doesn't become eligible for an extension until two years after his last contract signing. That means that Brooklyn won't be able to re-sign him until next summer, when he is an unrestricted free agent. The Nets would be competing against teams with much more cap space. 

Brooklyn just handed out a 4 year, $94.5M extension to forward Cam Johnson, and two seasons from now, the team's new superstar Mikal Bridges will be up for a massive extension. Not to mention the fact that Ben Simmons, if he is still around (and it would be a miracle if they were able to somehow unload him at this point) will also be due $40M in 2024-25. 

How would the Nets be able to afford all of that and go over the cap to re-sign Claxton? The answer is, they probably can't, and it would seem that Claxton could be the odd man out. Or at least he could be suspecting as much. 

Last season, in addition to his 2.5 blocks per game, the 24-year-old averaged 12.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and shot 70% from the floor.

Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports