Brooklyn Nets: 3 reasons Nicolas Claxton was a good pick

Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images /
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Photo by Michael J. LeBrecht II/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Michael J. LeBrecht II/NBAE via Getty Images /

2. High upside

The Brooklyn Nets player development staff has done a great job working with high-upside prospects in recent years. From Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert to Jarrett Allen, the Nets staff under Kenny Atkinson has had success molding raw traits into NBA-caliber skills.

This makes the selection of Nicolas Claxton such a good fit for Brooklyn. He may be advanced as a defensive prospect, but is still very raw on the offensive end. However, his ceiling is extremely high due to some of the attributes his flashed as a scorer and playmaker.

Claxton is currently not a threat to knock down jump shots, as he posted only a 28.1 percent clip from deep as a sophomore. Despite the low percentage, he’s making efforts to improve his jumper. He took 2.0 triples per game last year and SNY’s Anthony Puccio reported that he hopes to improve as a floor-spacer going forward.

One look at Claxton’s offensive highlights from 2for1 Hoops shows that the lanky lefty is comfortable in transition, attacking off the dribble and moving the basketball.

Claxton almost plays more like a guard than a center at times on the offensive end. If he can ever develop a consistent jumper and add strength to finish better around the rim, he could wind up becoming a scary offensive player.

It’s also worth noting that during his two years at Georgia, Claxton put on 27 pounds of muscle and his wingspan grew by 2.25 inches, so his body still may be filling out.

With room to grow physically and offensively, Claxton’s upside makes him an intriguing fit in Brooklyn. General Manager, Sean Marks, even outlined this after the draft:

"“I think there’s tremendous amount of upside there with him, the way he moves, the way I think he will eventually able to stretch the floor, the way he can handle the ball already.“"