Nets: Steve Nash’s Nic Claxton answer proves his future’s bright

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 20: Nicolas Claxton #33 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 20: Nicolas Claxton #33 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Nets fans will love Steve Nash’s latest comments on big man Nic Claxton.

The sheer depth of the Brooklyn Nets’ roster will present Steve Nash with the exact kind of problem you want an inexperienced head coach to have in terms of splitting up minutes and brainstorming a variety of different rotations.

At the same time, however, the surplus of options will only make life more difficult for some players to carve out consistent playing time. After all, the Nets are already being tabbed one of the championship favorites, and that (in theory) should close the window of experimenting with younger players, right?

Not so fast. Nash has long been a proponent of the “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough” philosophy and his latest comments on Nic Claxton prove that the young big man has a bright future ahead of him.

At 6-foot-11, you would think that Claxton would be thrown at the center position without any hesitation. However, his exceptional ball skills for a man his size have sparked debates about which position he would call home in the NBA.

Claxton appeared in just 15 games as a rookie, averaging 4.4 points and 2.9 rebounds while shooting 56.3% from the floor across 12.5 minutes. His best performance came against Milwaukee in January before the season was suspended when he managed 14 points, six rebounds and three blocks in just 19 minutes.

Unfortunately for the 2019 second-round pick, shoulder surgery derailed any chance he had at further proving himself in the Disney bubble, when the Nets were down several key players and went with a largely makeshift rotation.

At this point, it seems like injuries will be the only thing capable of preventing Claxton from cracking the rotation in 2020-21. After showing up to camp motivated and in excellent shape, he was ruled out indefinitely with tendinopathy in his right knee.

Claxton might struggle for minutes this season with the likes of Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan  projected to get most of the run at center, but these comments prove that Nash — at the very least — is prepared to deploy two bigs on the court at the same time.

Once he makes a full recovery, Nets fans should expect to see a whole lot of Claxton, because the first-year head coach has clearly taken a shine to him.