Nicolas Claxton Returns To Brooklyn After Agreeing On 2-Year $20 Million Extension

Nicolas Claxton Returns To Brooklyn After Agreeing On 2-Year $20 Million Extension

Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets have had a horrific start to free agency. Their day opened with them trading for Royce O'Neal from the Utah Jazz and giving up a pick in that deal to add better wing players around Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. However, it was soon reported that Durant had requested a trade from the team and that Irving will most likely also be moved in the final year of his contract.

But the future of the Nets will still have some young players shaping it, as they were the ones that the team has drafted and built as compared to signing for minimums. Nicolas Claxton has emerged as the Nets' starting center and is expected to take a big leap in performance in the next few seasons.

As a result, the Nets had to prioritize keeping the big man on the squad even if KD and Kyrie leave. That is exactly what they have done, as Claxton has agreed to a 2-year $20 million extension with Brooklyn. 

Claxton isn't a very super polished player and is clearly still figuring out his game. That is a good thing as the Nets have been shaping him to be optimum next to Durant and Irving. Now he may have a bigger role through active development and share the court with another post-presence in Ben Simmons.

The Nets are in limbo right now, so it is unclear where the team even goes. They don't own most of their future draft picks, which means that they cannot tank for picks. This puts pressure on them to do well and Claxton will be expected to take a leap forward.

There's chaos in Brooklyn, but they have done the right thing by making sure Claxton remains a part of their team. He is young and growing and could be a franchise cornerstone a few years down the line.