At Brooklyn Nets Media Day Friday, Claxton talked about the possibility of playing for Long Island. For Claxton, he is open to the opportunity but does not know if he will be playing there.
“Honestly, I have no idea,” Claxton said. “Like I said, I’m just coming into work everyday and trying to get better.”
“Yeah, I definitely would be open to it,” Claxton said. “If they want me to do that, I’ll go down there and hoop and make the best out of the situation.”
On Tuesday, Sean Marks declined to speculate on Claxton’s destination. He said both Jarrett Allen and Rodi Kurucs were initially pegged for Long Island but became rotation players.
“I think we’ve run into some problems with that in the past, if we’ve said, ‘he’s going to play in the G League,’ or he’s going to do this or he’s going to do that when all of a sudden we get a guy like for instance take Rodi last year, he rose to the occasion,” said Marks. “I never want to limit any of the guys we have in here.”
Claxton, whether he will be with Brooklyn, Long Island, or splitting time between them, said he just wants to contribute.
“I just want to get out there and contribute anyway I can in a positive way,” Claxton said. “Whatever the coaching staff needs from me. I just want to go out there and play at the best of my ability.”
The former Georgia Bulldog showed some bright spots at this past Summer League. While at Georgia, Claxton proved he is not just a traditional big man. In his two seasons with the Bulldogs, Claxton shot 30.2 percent from three and 50 percent from the field while posting averages of 23.0 minutes, 8.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, and 1.0 assist per game. A point guard in high school, he showed some keen playmaking skills as well.
Dzanan Musa, who’s split time between Brooklyn and Long Island during his rookie season, had high praise for the Nets rookie at Media Day. Musa believes Claxton will likely spend some time with Long Island but confidently believes he will be a talent in the NBA.
“Nic [Claxton] is a great talent,” Musa said. “I am telling you the ceiling is really high for him because he knows the game. He can shoot, he is fast, he understands how to be set up on the floor so he will be good in this league.”
As for Jaylen Hands, the Nets mystery player heading into the 2019-20 season, he was not at Media Day Friday. “He’s not on our roster,” said team insider.
Although Hands has not signed a deal with Brooklyn, the Nets are likely to use the “Draft Right Player Rule,” to keep him in the organization. The rule allows NBA teams to draft players and sign them directly to G League contracts — while still retaining their rights.
Long Island is currently filling out their roster, beyond Nets draft picks. So there was some news the last two weeks. The G Leaguers traded for 6’7” Anthony Brown, a G League veteran and big time scorer, and got a look at the Nets training camp invites, who if and when cut by Brooklyn, will have an open invitation from Long Island. John Egbunu, a 6’11” center, and C.J. Williams, a 6’5” defensive specialist, were both signed to Exhibit 10’s this week. They join Deng Adel, a 6’7” small forward who played for Cleveland last year.