3 potential Nic Claxton trades for Nets ahead of NBA deadline

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Nic Claxton treated image
Nic Claxton treated image

The NBA trade deadline is on Feb. 10, leaving limited time for teams to maneuver their rosters in whichever direction they please before the playoffs and offseason.

While the Nets may be sitting comfortably in the Eastern Conference standings, they’re without lead man Kevin Durant for some time and haven’t looked like the juggernaut many expected.

And one player who has appeared in numerous trade murmurs is Nic Claxton, a tantalizing prospect with a payday due.

Brooklyn doesn’t have many other avenues to upgrade, and may look to avoid paying Claxton, especially if he lands them a veteran who can better contribute to winning this season.

Here are three deals they can entertain, with help from the $11 million trade exception picked up in the Spencer Dinwiddie trade.

Claxton for Derrick Favors

Brooklyn’s mixed bag of big men has failed to provide the consistency needed this season. Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap have been duds. LaMarcus Aldridge’s shooting has been a saving grace, but he’s lacking in other facets.

While Claxton has been a burst of energy and athleticism in the lineup, Favors would serve as a stabilizing defensive presence with multiple years of postseason experience.

Favors' playing time with the rebuilding, young Oklahoma City Thunder has been inconsistent, but he played a solid role with the competitive Utah Jazz last season.

It’s also possible the Nets could fleece OKC out of a pick in this deal.

Nov 5, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Kelly Olynyk (13) takes a shot over Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) during the first quarter at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Kelly Olynyk (13) takes a shot over Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) during the first quarter at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Claxton for Kelly Olynyk

In a similar vein to the prior deal, Brooklyn ships out its prospect to a rebuilding team for a useful veteran.

Claxton brings some added height to the Detroit Pistons’ frontcourt, earning him an immediate backup center role.

On the flip side, Olynyk may not be the defender the Nets want but would be deadly as an offensive connector for their stars at the five. He can shoot, dribble, and pass, providing more mobility than Aldridge and effectively making this team unguardable in certain lineups.

Dec 8, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Rockets center Christian Wood (35) shoots the ball over Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas (24) during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 8, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Rockets center Christian Wood (35) shoots the ball over Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas (24) during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Claxton and Bruce Brown for Christian Wood

Perhaps the deal with the highest ceiling, this also comes at the highest cost.

There’s a good chance Brooklyn can get outbid going for Wood and may need to throw in another young player along with Claxton -- that or a pick, which would have to come from 2028 thanks to the James Harden trade.

Wood is only 26 years old, averaging 17.6 points and 10.1 rebounds for the Houston Rockets, with the ability to shoot from all over the floor. He’s yet to be a part of a winning program since his breakout year in 2020, so joining a star-studded, championship-or-bust Nets team may be the move that fully unlocks his two-way potential.