Striking similarities to former Toronto, Miami star
When looking at Claxton’s size, wingspan and versatility in the post, he is strikingly similar to Chris Bosh.
Both players are 6-foot-11. Both players are lefties. Both players have good shooting form. Both players can play in the post. Their respective wingspans only differ by one inch.
The only major framework difference is Bosh is listed at 235 pounds, where Claxton is listed at 220 pounds (generously). Claxton will need to add muscle.
However, Claxton has a dimension to his game Bosh never really had, which is the ability to handle the ball like a guard. Claxton might even be faster end-to-end. He plays well in transition too.
Obviously, it’s unfair to compare the two players in terms of NBA accomplishments but their abilities and body types are oddly similar.
Bosh, an 11-time NBA All-Star, is probably the player Claxton should try and emulate while looking to add his own wrinkles into this archetype. If Claxton can get stronger and continue to develop his shooting consistency, he can be Bosh-like at the NBA level.
If Claxton can become anything similar to the player Bosh was, the Nets may have indeed found a long-term solution at the power forward position.
Let’s not put the cart before the horse though. Claxton has a lot of developing to do and is still a project, but his potential ceiling could be even higher than Bosh’s.
Under Atkinson, Claxton will likely be converted into a consistent three-point shooter. The sooner this happens the better for both Claxton and Brooklyn.
The Nets have long coveted a stretch power forward 3-and-D player. Claxton could fill that need if developed properly. If all goes according to plan, Claxton could figure to be a dynamic player in that role and might even eclipse expectations.
As an NBA rookie, Claxton will be tested early against bigger players and the faster pace in the pros. He will also face some bumps in the road adjusting to the 82 game NBA regular season and the dreaded rookie wall.
Despite the learning curve and development issues, Claxton is a player to keep a close eye on. At best, he could be a potential franchise changer. At worst he will be a serviceable role player.
In either scenario, Nets general manager Sean Marks made an excellent selection with pick No. 31 of the 2019 NBA draft to get a player with Claxton’s upside who just so happens to fit the Nets’ most obvious team needs.
Claxton is unlikely to start right away and will have to earn his spot in the rotation. He will likely play in the Summer League and see some minutes off the bench as a backup center or backup forward in his rookie year.
He may also have to spend some time in the G-League to develop as well. Fans will have to be patient but there is a lot to be excited about with the addition of Claxton.
He may be a project but he could end up being the best project in this draft class. Welcome to Brooklyn, Nicolas Claxton.