Nicolas Claxton
Lauren Bacho/The Gainesville Sun via AP Photo

The Brooklyn Nets kicked off the second-round a player with heaps of potential, Georgia product Nicolas Claxton.

The Brooklyn Nets traded away both of their first-round picks in an effort to shore up their salary cap situation before free agency. However, they selected the University of Georgia’s Nicolas Claxton with the first pick in the second round. Moreover, they plan on keeping him.

Claxton rose to prominence during his sophomore season with the Bulldogs. The 6-foot-11 big man averaged 13.0 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. That being said, his best attribute might be his shot blocking ability.

He’ll join a frontline that already boasts one of the most feared shot blockers in the league—Jarrett Allen. It’s unclear whether or not Claxton will be able to crack the rotation during the 2019-20 season.

That being said, if he plays well enough, head coach Kenny Atkinson will have no problem giving him some burn. Brooklyn’s second-round pick from 2018, Rodions Kurucs, wasn’t even a sure thing to come to the NBA last season. He eventually went on to start in 46 games for the Nets and became a key contributor.

Additionally, if the Nets feel like he would do well with some seasoning in the G League, that’s always a viable option. Dzanan Musa, the team’s first-round pick from last year, spent significant time with the Long Island Nets last season. He should come into the 2019-20 season as a much more complete player than he was last year.

There’s little pressure on Claxton to be anything more than what he can be next year. He’s entering a great situation with one of the best player development groups in the league. Nets fans should be excited about this pick.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.