Nets prepared to match any Nic Claxton contract offers - jobs fights tigma
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Nets prepared to match any Nic Claxton contract offers


Nets prepared to match any Nic Claxton contract offers

Nic Claxton did not start a single game in the Nets’ playoff ouster, but he increasingly made the center position his. And the Nets are reportedly intent on matching any offers for the restricted free agent, who seems a perfect fit for the way they want to play.

While veteran Andre Drummond started every game he played since arriving from Philadelphia in the James Harden-Ben Simmons blockbuster deal at the trade deadline, Claxton had essentially supplanted him by the time the Nets were swept out of the playoffs by Boston.

The center is believed to be looking at a deal in the three-year, $ 35 million range. He’s not expected to get more than the mid-level exception from teams like Charlotte or Chicago, according to The non-taxpayer mid-level exception is expected to be $ 10.2 million.

The Nets would be inclined to match, and can even give Claxton up to four years and $ 55 million if they ink him before June 30. Or they can simply wait and see what offers Claxton gets on the open market, and have 48 hours to match them.

Nic Claxton dunks the ball.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Drummond himself – an unrestricted free agent – had acknowledged the Nets would be ill-advised to let Claxton go. And when talking about what the Nets need in a center, Stan Van Gundy – broadcasting the conference finals for TNT – sounded like he was describing Claxton to a T.

“That roster works well. Now you’ve got to find a 5. You need a big that sort of fits the way you play, ”Van Gundy said. “The guy does not have to be great. They can find somebody out there with the minimum. It’s all about fit.

“If you’re going to switch everything, he’s a guy that has to be a switchable defensive guy, and you need a guy who can get up on the boards and things like that. Other than that, he’s just got to be a pick-and-roll guy. There’s plenty of offense around him. But I think they have the makings of a good roster. ”

The 23-year-old Claxton’s greatest asset is his versatile switchable defense, able to guard 1-through-5. Both Drummond and veteran LaMarcus Aldridge – another unrestricted free agent – are more comfortable in drop coverage, while Blake Griffin is undersized. The latter pair were out of the rotation at season’s end.

Drummond started but saw his playing time slashed from 23:30 in Game 2 against Boston to 15:30 in Game 3 to just 3:36 in the final. On the other hand, Claxton averaged 10.5 points, 6.3 boards and 2.3 blocks in 24.5 minutes against the Celtics.

Nic Claxton

“We just felt like Nic’s been our most productive center at both ends,” coach Steve Nash said right after the season ended. “He’s done a lot for us at both ends and I thought that was why I think Andre’s minutes were limited.

“Nic made such a big impact for us defensively with his athleticism, foot speed and length. Protects the rim. We’re able to switch. He also brings pace offensively, flying in pick and rolls, diving hard, getting on the glass. … He’s provided us with a lot the last couple months. ”

If the Nets retain Claxton, it remains to be seen what their stomach for re-signing Bruce Brown is. But Nets owner Joe Tsai has committed to paying luxury tax, and they’ve reduced their tax bill by roughly $ 35 million since last offseason: From $ 130 million before trading Spencer Dinwiddie to $ 110 before moving James Harden to roughly $ 96 million- $ 97 million now.


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