The Toronto Raptors are demanding that Brooklyn Nets big man Nic Claxton be included in any significant trade ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, according to SNY.tv’s Ian Begley.
The Nets could look to make a move for O.G. Anunoby, Pascal Siakam or Fred VanVleet, but they’d likely have to give up their best young player to do so.
Talked Knicks, OG Anunoby, how Nic Claxton would factor in on some Nets-Raptors deals and how the uncertainty around Kevin Durant is impacting the NBA trade deadline @EliseMenaker: pic.twitter.com/ieoZ6EwNEe
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 8, 2023
“One thing to note with the Nets here — they’ve obviously talked to Toronto a decent amount about trying to get another deal done before the deadline,” Begley said. “And I’m told that members of the Raptors have been insistent on getting Nic Claxton back in any significant trade with the Nets.”
The Raptors are potential sellers at the trade deadline after underachieving so far this season. VanVleet, who can opt out of his deal to become a free agent following the 2022-23 season, may be the ideal player to trade since the team could lose him for nothing in the offseason.
Anunoby’s and Siakam’s deals will still be under contract next season, and the Raptors appear to be looking to get a significant return for either player.
Claxton has quickly become one of the Nets’ most important players this season, especially on the defensive end.
After trading away Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, the Nets are looking to bolster their roster around Kevin Durant so they can still compete for an NBA title.
Claxton, a second-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, is averaging 13.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and a league-high 2.6 blocks per game this season. He’s been extremely efficient on offense, shooting 73.2 percent from the field.
This has been the best year of Claxton’s NBA career, and he’s become an integral part of the Nets’ success. Brooklyn currently holds the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.
While landing a player like VanVleet, Siakam or Anunoby would certainly help the Nets, they have to weigh whether or not it is worth giving up a promising young player like Claxton.
Brooklyn may look to keep the rest of its roster intact through the deadline to see how far Durant can take the team this season.
The additions of Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith in the Irving deal should help the Nets at least stay in the playoff picture in the East.