Nets Rumors: Nic Claxton Mid-level Contract Offer 'Unlikely' to Be Matched by BK

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 19, 2022

Brooklyn Nets forward Nic Claxton (33) during NBA game action against Portland Trail Blazers, Friday March 18, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
AP Photo/John Minchillo

When it comes to Nic Claxton, the Brooklyn Nets may have a firm price they're willing to pay for the young center.

The Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen reported Saturday the Nets "are considered unlikely to match a mid-level offer" for Claxton, who's eligible for restricted free agency.

Claxton has performed well in a limited role through his first three years, averaging 7.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 18.7 minutes per game. He's also shot 64.6 percent from the floor.

The dilemma for Brooklyn is whether it wants to re-sign the 23-year-old at all costs.

The Nets have $154.1 million committed—when factoring in the player options for Kyrie Irving and Patty Mills—for 2022-23 before accounting for the costs of signing their own free agents or bringing in reinforcements.

ESPN's Bobby Marks noted the price of running it back would be around $330 million between salary expenses and luxury tax penalties.

Claxton doesn't figure to get a significant multiyear offer. His offensive repertoire is too limited—he has shot 2-of-12 from beyond the arc and made 53.9 percent of his free throws—and there isn't enough to justify believing he'll have a massive breakthrough.

The full mid-level exception is projected to exceed $10 million next year. For the Rockets or another team, that would be a smart short-term bet on Claxton. For the Nets, however, an otherwise reasonable contract could carry costly consequences.

Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News reported in February that Brooklyn was "working to move" Claxton prior to the NBA trade deadline.

Perhaps the Nets' internal opinion of the 6'11" shot-blocker has changed since then. Based on Feigen's report, the perception appears to remain firm that he could be suiting up for another team this fall.