Nets trade rumors: Nic Claxton on the block?

Nic Claxton
Dec 14, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Nic Claxton (33) drives to the basket against Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Are the Nets looking to move Nic Claxton before the NBA trade deadline? It certainly seems like they’re entertaining the idea.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported on his podcast that the Nets “have dipped their toe into the trade market” to try and move Claxton. The 22-year-old has appeared in 20 games for Brooklyn this season and averaged 9.2 points and 5.5 rebounds.

“I know this would surprise some people because they’d say ‘This guy is really valuable defensively. He’s very active,'” Windhorst said. “He’s been out recently with a hamstring injury, but he’s a free agent (this offseason).”

Windhorst later added that he had heard from two different NBA clubs that there was some feeling out of the market by the Nets for Claxton. The center has been dealing with tightness in his left hamstring and has missed the last four games because of it.

Claxton’s injury has opened the door for rookie big man Day’Ron Sharpe to get into the Nets lineup and make an impression.  Sharpe started the last four games with Claxton out and has put up 11.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in that stretch.

Sharpe put up a career-high 20 points against Chicago last week and recorded his first career double-double in the win over the New Orleans Pelicans. He has been averaging 23 minutes over his four-game stretch as a starter.

The growth in Sharpe’s game perhaps has made Claxton a bit more expendable and Brooklyn may want to get something for him rather than potentially lose him over the summer for nothing.

Claxton is in his third season with the Nets, but his time in Brooklyn has been hampered by injury and illness. He dealt with a left hamstring injury during his rookie season in 2019-20 and then underwent shoulder surgery that cut his season short.

Claxton then suffered a right knee injury last year and then was sidelined with COVID.