Nets nearly traded Nic Claxton to Toronto before NBA Trade Deadline: Report

Nic Claxton
Nic Claxton against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets ended up with a surplus of centers following the trade deadline acquisition of Andre Drummond and the returns of LaMarcus Aldridge and Nic Claxton from injury. Their center depth has become deep enough where Claxton didn’t take the court on Monday against the Sacramento Kings.

However, it appears that the plan after the deadline may have not included Claxton to begin with. On his podcast, ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported that the Nets and Toronto Raptors had been working on a deal for the Nets’ big man, but it fell apart and the Raptors went in another direction.

“I think one thing that happened at the trade deadline that I heard was that they were very close to a deal with Toronto that would have sent Claxton to Toronto for a first-round pick and some protections on it,” Lowe said. “I think their intention was to sort of refit the roster by maybe flipping that pick for another wing, another shooter. Robert Covington’s name was mentioned. And sort of balance it out. That trade fell apart and Toronto went in another direction.”

There had certainly been enough murmurs leading up to the deadline that suggested Claxton could be on the move. Claxton has dealt with injury issues this season and that opened the door for rookie big Day’Ron Sharpe to step in, along with vets Blake Griffin and Aldridge already there as well.

Thus making it hard for Nets head coach Steve Nash to get everyone into games. Drummond started on Monday against the Kings, While Aldridge came off the bench along with Griffin and Sharpe. However, Griffin and Sharpe played for less than five minutes.

“We have five centers, it’s very hard for them all to play,” Nash said. “He’s going to have to be patient and see how we go here.”