Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
At his introductory press conference on Monday, new Net Nicolas Claxton left no doubt that he can fit well with Brooklyn center Jarrett Allen.
"I think that me and him, on the same court, will able to be extremely disruptive, especially on the defensive end," Claxton, the 6-foot-11 big from Georgia selected 31st overall by Brooklyn, told reporters on Monday.
Claxton averaged 13 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game as a sophomore at Georgia. The Nets, presumably, wouldn't have taken him if they didn't think he'd complement Allen, their young cornerstone at center.
Nets GM Sean Marks said that the club hasn't determined which position Claxton will play at the next level, but he referenced his ball handling as something that should translate to the NBA. Claxton handled the ball at times under head coach Tom Crean at Georgia, who he credited for "changing" his life and helping get him to this stage.
"He had a vision for me," Claxton said.
HANDS A D'ANGELO FAN: UCLA guard Jaylen Hands, whose rights were acquired by Brooklyn via a trade with the Clippers (Brooklyn also sent its 27th overall 2019 pick to LAC in exchange for LAC's 2020 first-rounder), says he's a D'Angelo Russell fan.
"I watched (the Nets) a lot (last season) because I like D'Angelo Russell and how he comes off pick and roll," Hands told reporters on Monday. "…. I think (Brooklyn's offense is) a lot of modern NBA basketball, making decisions off of the pick and roll, just playing, getting up and down. I really like that, it fits my game."
Hands, a 6-foot-3 guard, averaged 14.2 points, six assists and 3.7 rebounds per game last season at UCLA. He made 37 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Hands may be a fan of Russell's game, but it's unclear if he will play with him. If Brooklyn signs Kyrie Irving, SNY sources familiar with the matter say it is highly unlikely that Russell returns to Brooklyn, as previously reported.
HIGH IQ PLAYERS: Claxton was named to the SEC Honor Roll at Georgia, and Hands earned academic honors in high school. Marks was asked about their academic prowess and it is a factor of player evaluation that's appreciated by the Nets, and probably most other NBA teams.
"We like adding depth and worldly character to our group here," Marks said. "…. Certainly, when were looking at IQ and basketball IQ, I think there is definitely some translation."