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Feigen: Houston Rockets interested in Nic Claxton, believe Nets won’t match MLE offer

Jonathan Feigen, long-time beat writer for the Rockets, reports that Houston is interested in signing restricted free agent center Nic Claxton

With Christian Wood traded to the Mavericks, Feigen writes, the rebuilding Rockets will be looking for a big man and Claxton tops the list. Moreover, he reports that the Nets are unlikely to match a big offer for the 23-year-old big

Though the Rockets traded Wood because he no longer fit with the rebuild and to acquire a first-round pick, the Rockets are weighing keeping Marjanovic as one of the center options they are considering. They are not expected to keep other players acquired in the deal — Marquese Chriss, Sterling Brown and Trey Burke.

The free-agent class at center is considered unusually deep with players that might be available to teams, including the Rockets, that are over the cap but can offer the full mid-level exception, starting at $10.5 million.

The Nets are considered unlikely to match a mid-level offer to Nic Claxton.

Feigen offers no other details on Brooklyn’s reluctance to match a big offer. The Nets have until July 29 to offer Claxton a four-year, $11 million deal. If not, he becomes a restricted free agent the next day. However, he becomes the second writer in the last few days to suggest that the Nets are uncertain about Claxton who was one of the few bright spots in the Nets first round loss to the Celtics.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report similarly reported that while the Nets are “motivated” to sign Bruce Brown, he’s “not sure about Claxton.” Fischer noted that the Nets did talk to at least one team — the Raptors — about dealing the 23-year-old big at the deadline. He wondered aloud whether the Nets would match if another team offered Claxton a “monster” deal in free agency.

Claxton has posted images of himself — with a new, close-cropped ‘do — on Instagram, captioning one with the words, “SOON I’ll be back to myself.” with a guitar emoji.

Feigen also listed Andre Drummond as a possible pick up for the Rockets along with Isaiah Hartenstein, Mason Plumlee and Mo Bamba. Houston also has the third and 16th picks in the NBA Draft and is likely to pick a big with the third pick, possibly Paolo Blanchero of Duke. ESPN reported last week “the Rockets seem high on the talent, skill and fit of Banchero,” who measured 6’10.5” in bare feet at the NBA Combine.