Brooklyn Nets: Should Nic Claxton be getting minutes over DeAndre Jordan?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 11: DeAndre Jordan #6 Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 11: DeAndre Jordan #6 Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets went from having such paltry depth in the frontcourt that names like Noah Vonleh and Norvel Pelle were being trusted to eat up minutes for a team that now has to figure out how to make DeAndre Jordan, Nic Claxton, and Blake Griffin all compatible with one another.

While Jordan is one of the few members of this Nets team that can be trusted to pull down rebounds consistently, he could lose some minutes to these two new arrivals. Not only do the Nets view Griffin as a perfect small-ball center, but they simply have to carve out time for Claxton on the floor.

Claxton, who was the first pick of the second round in 2019 NBA Draft, has been averaging 8.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game since he returned from injury.

He has given the Nets a high-upside big man that can scoop up rebounds, finish inside, and block some shots. Considering how Jordan’s defense, or lack of same, has frequently been put under the microscope over the last two seasons, is there really a possibility Claxton jumps over him in the rotation?

DeAndre Jordan and Nic Claxton’s playing time for the Nets should be equal.

These two centers have contrasting styles on offense, as Jordan is a classic back-to-the-basket big that can finish off dunks while Claxton is more comfortable handling the ball and shooting from outside of the paint.

These two styles of play mean that defenses can attack them in different ways. Whenever Jordan is on the floor, it’s time to run, space it on offense, and shoot from deep to nullify his size. When Claxton checks in, get ready to bang down low, as the 215-pound big could stand to add some weight.

Nash needs to make sure that these two rarely see the floor together, irrespective of whatever position Griffin plays. Whenever the Nets go against an elite offensive big in the playoffs, Jordan’s bulk and experience will come in handy. However, when they need a bucket, Claxton has shown he can slice to the rim and finish with ease.

For a coach in Nash who has had no qualms about tinkering with the lineup this season, he should be fine with swapping Jordan and Claxton in and out of the lineup.

The two are the perfect yin and yang duo to help the Nets give Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden some consistency inside. Whichever one plays more is simply matchup-dependent. However, the Nets would be foolish to just dump Claxton for Jordan and Griffin due to their age and hype.