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Would leaving Brooklyn be best for Nic Claxton?

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23-year-old Nic Claxton was one of the very few homegrown players logging minutes for the Brooklyn Nets late in the season, but with his rookie contract set to expire, Claxton will become a restricted free agent this offseason.

Drafted by the Nets with the 31st overall pick in the 2019 draft, Claxton set a new career-highs with 8.7 points per game and 5.6 rebounds per game in 47 appearances in the regular season, but missed a significant amount of time dealing with a nasty non-COVID related illness. Claxton was even more effective in the playoffs, scoring 10.5 points per game against the Celtics on 85 percent shooting from the floor.

Yet with Ben Simmons expected to return for the upcoming season, the Nets will need more players who can space the floor and don’t need to live in the paint. Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale writes that Claxton needs to be “rescued” from Brooklyn this summer, arguing that if he should stay, his development may be stunted.

Via Bleacher Report:

“A healthy Ben Simmons ensures the Nets will always have one non-shooter on the floor. That number mushrooms to two if they re-sign Bruce Brown (unrestricted) and his 40.4 percent clip from three this season proves to be an anomaly. Brooklyn will occasionally, if not frequently, find itself needing to favor frontcourt setups that feature a floor-spacer at the 5.

Stretching defenses outside of the paint is not Claxton’s game. He has more offensive depth to explore—including a baby hook shot—but not a big-time jumper. Brooklyn will want him back anyway. His five-position switchability is legit. But sticking around with an organization that can assure neither consistent nor optimal usage isn’t what’s best for him.”

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