NBA Rumors: 1 trade for every Nets player on chopping block

The Brooklyn Nets are expected to wheel and deal at the trade deadline. Let's cook up some realistic, mutually beneficial pacts.

Nic Claxton, Brooklyn Nets
Nic Claxton, Brooklyn Nets / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
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Nets trade Nic Claxton to Knicks

knicks

The New York Knicks are without Mitchell Robinson for most, if not all of the regular season after the springy 7-footer underwent ankle surgery in December. That leaves a hole in the Knicks' roster at the five spot. Isaiah Hartenstein has filled in admirably, but there's reason to believe New York would benefit from an immediate upgrade — especially with how close the team feels to breaking into the contender's circle.

This is a steep price for Nic Claxton, but the Knicks' 2024 title odds would improve significantly and Claxton has far less injury baggage hanging over him than Robinson. Also of note, the Knicks can swing this trade without sacrificing their ability to make another major move down the line. There is plenty of ammo left in the chamber after this.

The 2022-23 campaign was Claxton's coming out party, as he received All-Defense votes and was briefly on the DPOY map before Brooklyn shredded its roster at the trade deadline. This season, the 24-year-old is averaging 12.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists on .632/.333/.556 splits in 29.8 minutes. He's not executing at the same level he was last season, but Claxton is still a top-tier vertical threat with a major presence on the offensive glass. He won't space the floor, but he's a coordinated athlete with the post-up chops necessary to carve out looks and exploit mismatches in the paint.

Defense, however, is where Claxton would really take New York to the next level. With all due respect to Hartenstein — and man, does he deserve it — Claxton is a different beast. Add his rim protection and mobility in space to a rotation that includes OG Anunoby, Donte DiVincenzo, and Deuce McBride, and the Knicks are cooking with gas. Tom Thibodeau's squad is already a top-six defense with Robinson on the pine. Claxton can cement New York as the NBA's most fearsome stoppers.

As for Brooklyn, Robinson has the ability to anchor a defense and contribute amply as a lob threat once he's healthy. Add a couple first-round picks to the mix, and this is a solid return. The Knicks are essentially pushing all their chips to the middle for 2024, while the Nets take a step back and allow Robinson to recover in anticipation of a 2025 return.

5 left-field trades to blow up the NBA trade deadline. 5 left-field trades to blow up the NBA trade deadline. dark. NBA RUMORS