Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton had an incredible 2022-23 season in which he established himself as not only an up-and-coming player in the big man hierarchy, but also as a potential Defensive Player of the Year candidate. It looks like others in the NBA space are taking note of his ascension.
Recently, Bleacher Report ranked projected Claxton to be the 29th-best big in the league by the end of the 2023-24 season. Claxton, 24, had his best season in the NBA last season as he put up 12.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 70.5% from the field (leading the league) in a campaign where he finished tied for ninth in voting for the DPOY.
Claxton goes into this upcoming season as a player who will have to step up his offensive production if the Nets want to make the playoffs as a top-6 seed and avoid the play-in tournament. As last season showed, Claxton has the potential to be a difference-maker on both ends of the floor if he realizes his full potential offensively.
Here’s what B/R had to say about Claxton’s ranking on this list:
“Nic Claxton had a breakout campaign with the rebuilt-on-the-fly Brooklyn Nets in 2022-23, averaging 12.6 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while shooting a league-leading 70.5 percent from the field.
Suddenly, despite a 6’11”, 215-pound frame that may be a bit slight in certain matchups, Claxton looks like an archetypal rim-runner and -protector who can move the needle in a positive direction on both ends of the floor.”