Marc Stein broke news on Thursday that Nic Claxton is potentially available in trade talks ahead of the February 8 deadline. This is huge because as the cut-off approaches, the Brooklyn Nets continue to fall deeper into mediocrity, and, unfortunately, have no picks in the 2024 NBA Draft to show for it.
With Claxton being a young center with a great pick-and-roll presence and high-end defensive prowess, teams will no doubt be inquiring about the Georiga product over the next week. As a result, Nets fans can't help but speculate trades as the Feb. 8 deadline comes, and we at NBN have cooked up a few that could prove to be worthwhile for Sean Marks and co. to consider.
Nets get their picks back, Rockets get their defensive anchor
This trade idea would be huge for the Nets, as they'd be getting both of their 2024 draft selections back all without having to give up Mikal Bridges in the process, thus pushing them into the direction of rebuilding. Right now, they're 19-28 and in the lottery, so to be able to bet on their own pick allows them to pair Cam Thomas and Bridges with another young talent.
The reason why Brooklyn would need to give up a first-round pick in the exchange is because Houston holds all leverage with owning their pick. For the Rockets, getting Claxton means they improve their already stellar 112.4 defensive rating (7th in the NBA) and add another young stud along the way.
Alperen Sengun is already their starting center, so Claxton could come off the bench or if Ime Udoke wants a big lineup, Sengun would be able to space the floor as a facilitating power forward.
Regardless, it provides depth with a nice scheme fit.
Nets build for 2024 draft, Raptors get another young piece
This also gives the Nets some highly coveted draft capital in this year's draft, though it's not their own. Brooklyn gets the least favorable of Oklahoma City's, Houston's, LA's, and Utah's first-round picks, plus Indiana's first-round pick from the Pascal Siakam trade.
The Pacers' pick is protected 1-4, however, the chances of the pick falling under those conditions are slim to none. The Nets get pretty good value considering they have two chances to take a first-round talent.
Toronto get's yet another young piece in Claxton (24-year-old) to either start over or play behind Jakob Poeltl, thus adding to a young core already consisting of RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Scottie Barnes, and, hopefully for their sake, Gradey Dick, who has struggled in his rookie season but still has room to grow.
A starting lineup of Quickley, Dick, Barrett, Barnes, and Claxton provides an excellent foundation for the future, with a mix of playmaking, shooting and defense.
The Nets, on the other hand, would get capital to work with.
Nets give Warriors their long-awaited center
The Nets get a ton of names back in this trade, but if the Warriors want to get back into the playoff race and have another shot at a ring with the core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. To do this, they may have to go get their long-awaited center and defensive anchor, and it means giving up a lot.
With this deal, Golden State puts themselves in a position to get one last shot at a ring, especially after trading for Chris Paul this past summer. They have no choice but to get pieces to win now, but the benefit is that Clax is still young, so they get the best of both worlds.
Brooklyn receives Moses Moody, a young defender with promise on the offensive end, plus rookies Trayce Jackson-Davis and Gui Santos. Gary Payton II is mostly included to even out the salary cap, but he adds defensive value as well.