3 core Nets players who could be playing final season in Brooklyn

Feb 3, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) in a game
Feb 3, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) in a game / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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The Brooklyn Nets remained rather quiet at this year's trade deadline, opting to execute smaller-scale moves rather than blockbuster splashes seemingly in an effort to add future draft capital and cut down on salary commitments.

With this, the team's foundation remains largely intact and will now look to make a push for the Play-In Tournament during this second-half of action.

Unfortunately, considering this group has gone just 21-32 during these first 53 games of action and are three wins behind the 10-seeded Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference standings, there is a realistic possibility that Jacque Vaughn and company may fall short of achieving their postseason goals which, in turn, could lead to some sizable shakeups to their talent pool come the offseason.

Core Brooklyn Nets players that could be heading out this summer

In order to make a significant change, this Nets team will almost certainly need to give up something of significance in the process as the trade route is presumably the most likely course of action considering this summer's rather weak free agency class.

With this in mind, should Brooklyn's front office wish to shake things up, here are a few core players that could be heading outbound.

3. Nic Claxton

During the days leading up to this year's trade deadline, reports started to surface stating that big man Nic Claxton "could be more available" on the block than many may have previously believed.

Considering he is currently in his final season under contract, coupled with the rumblings that suggest he could command a four-year, $90 million deal this summer, it makes sense that the Nets might have sent feelers out regarding a trade for the center in an effort to cash in on his value and stave off the risk of possibly losing him for nothing in the offseason.

Of course, with the February 8 cutoff now in the rearview, Claxton finds himself still residing in the borough and en route toward unrestricted free agency which, in turn, still leaves Brooklyn in a problematic situation.

Though an ideal scenario would be for the two sides to come to an agreement on a new financial commitment once the season comes to an end, with the type of skill set he provides at the pivot, there's bound to be a bevy of teams found vying for his services on the open market which only increases his odds of bolting.

Amid one of the best seasons of his young professional career, Claxton finds himself posting impressive averages of 12.3 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks while shooting 62.7 percent from deep.

With his combination of defensive instincts and high-end athleticism, the 24-year-old would be an intriguing fit on any number of teams across the association.

Though the Nets should strongly be considering re-signing him this offseason, there's simply no guarantee that he'll wish to remain in tow moving forward, especially if they continue to underwhelm beyond the All-Star break.

Be it by sign-and-trade or solely through free agency, there's a hauntingly real possibility than Claxton could jump ship after 2023-24.