Nic Claxton

Eastern Notes: Carlisle, Knicks, Anunoby, Claxton, Stewart, Wizards

Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle‘s comments about the officiating following Wednesday’s Game 2, which earned him a $35K fine from the NBA, were “disrespectful” to the Knicks, according to New York forward Josh Hart. Speaking to reporters on Friday, Hart said Carlisle’s insinuation that the Knicks are winning because of the officiating “discredit(s) how we’re playing,” according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. Hart also laughed off Carlisle’s claim that the referees are favoring the big-market team in the series.

“That’s so stupid, bro,” Hart said. “I mean, we’re going to say the big market always wins? The Knicks ain’t won a [championship] in 51 years. So obviously that don’t hold much weight. I don’t fully understand that. Sorry, New York, for the reminder [about the 51-year drought]. But I think that’s just idiotic. At the end of the day it’s who’s playing the best. I’ve never seen a ref shoot a free throw or make a three or miss a rotation.”

According to Ian Begley of (Twitter link), the Knicks have their own complaints about the referees through the first two games of the series, with members of the organization upset by how Jalen Brunson is being officiated. Those Knicks officials believe Brunson is being grabbed and hit “up and down the floor” and it’s going unnoticed by the refs.

Meanwhile, Carlisle was asked on Friday about his response to the $35K fine and suggested he didn’t have any regrets, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link).

“I’m gonna support my players and our fan base, and our ownership, 100%, and I’m done talking about it,” the Pacers’ coach said.

Here’s more from around the East:

  • Knicks forward OG Anunoby, who is dealing with a left hamstring strain, traveled to Indianapolis with the team for Games 3 and 4. While that means he could theoretically play on Sunday if he makes a quick recovery, that seems unlikely. The main reason he’s traveling with the club is because the medical staff is in Indiana, according to Begley, who tweets that Anunoby is getting treatment three times per day.
  • It looks like the Nets are going to do whatever it takes to re-sign free agent center Nic Claxton, and that’s the right call, according to Lucas Kaplan of NetsDaily, who argues that even if it costs $25MM per year, that’s a fair price based on the growth of the NBA’s salary cap. For what it’s worth, $25MM will be approximately the same percentage of the cap in 2024/25 that $20MM was three seasons ago.
  • Keith Langlois of recaps Isaiah Stewart‘s season and looks ahead to what’s next for the Pistons big man, who will begin a four-year, $60MM extension this July. Despite being the longest-tenured Pistons player, Stewart will still be just 23 years old next season, Langlois points out, arguing that his transition from center to forward this past season increases his versatility and value.
  • The Wizards will own a top-six pick in this year’s draft, and while the general consensus is that the 2024 class lacks star-level talent at the top, general manager Will Dawkins says he doesn’t necessarily subscribe to that line of thinking, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic. “I think people hold their cards tight to their vests strategically, so I definitely don’t agree with the narrative,” Dawkins told Robbins. “I think people realize how good this draft is, and in any draft, I’d rather have the power of choice to make the decision than be left with other players on the board that I might not feel as good about. So for me and the Wizards, we’re ones that would always want the highest pick possible if you have an option to choose a player.”

Eastern Notes: Wade, Allen, J. Brown, Claxton, Bucks

Cavaliers forward Dean Wade, who continues to recover from a right knee injury, hasn’t played since March 8, but it’s possible he’ll return to action at some point in the Eastern Conference semifinals, writes Chris Fedor of (subscription required). Sources tell Fedor that there’s hope Wade will be able to play later in the series, possibly as early as Game 3 or 4 in Cleveland.

Wade is ramping up his on-court activity, having conducted an individual workout on Monday and then doing some light shooting and conditioning work at Tuesday’s shootaround, according to Fedor. His availability later in the series will depend on how his knee responds to the increase in activity.

After averaging a modest 5.4 points per game in 54 regular season appearances, Wade likely won’t be a difference-maker in the series vs. Boston. However, as Fedor observes, the Cavs haven’t gotten much this postseason from Georges Niang, who has made just 6-of-29 (20.7%) shots in six games and has nearly as many fouls (15) as points (17). Having another frontcourt option available off the bench could come in handy for Cleveland.

The presence of another power forward in the rotation would be even more crucial if center Jarrett Allen remains sidelined. Allen, who missed the final three games of the Cavs’ first-round series vs. Orlando, is listed as questionable to play in Game 1 on Tuesday.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Celtics wing Jaylen Brown spoke back in the fall about wanting to take on more challenging defensive assignments and play at an All-Defensive level in 2023/24, and he has delivered on that promise, according to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston, who says that Brown will likely “draw a heavy dose” of Donovan Mitchell in the second-round series vs. Cleveland. “He’s picking up point guards, he guards bigs,” teammate Derrick White said of Brown. “Just an athletic freak. He can guard so many different positions and he just really bought in this year. I think he was a good defender before the season but just taking it to that next level, just consistently night in, night out, and wanting those challenges. Taking on those challenges and stepping up big time.”
  • Within a look at the Nets‘ upcoming offseason, Lucas Kaplan of NetsDaily cites sources who say Brooklyn remains “very confident” in its ability to re-sign unrestricted free agent Nic Claxton, even if his price is in the neighborhood of $25MM per year.
  • Adding athleticism to their roster figures to be a priority for the Bucks ahead of the 2024/25 season, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic, who notes that the team will also benefit from many of its key pieces having their first full offseason together — Damian Lillard was acquired just ahead of training camp last fall, while Doc Rivers was hired in January. “I told Giannis (Antetokounmpo) and Dame I’m going to send them things all summer we’re working on for them to work on,” Rivers said. “And they both were very excited about that. I’m assuming Khris (Middleton) will like the same thing. That gives us an advantage.”

Nets’ Fernandez, Marks Call Re-Signing Claxton Top Offseason Priority

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday at his introductory press conference as the Nets‘ head coach, Jordi Fernandez referred to re-signing free agent center Nic Claxton as a “priority” for the team this offseason, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. General manager Sean Marks went a step further, calling a new deal for Claxton the Nets’ “number one” priority.

“We hope he’s a Net for a very long time,” Marks said. “We hope we can continue to build around him and build with him and so forth.”

Claxton signed a two-year deal with Brooklyn in 2022 that paid him less than $10MM annually. He’s ineligible for an extension due to the short-term nature of that contract, so he’ll reach free agency this July. He’ll be unrestricted since he has five years of NBA service under his belt.

Claxton figures to be in line for a major raise after emerging as Brooklyn’s starting center over the past two seasons. During that time, he has averaged 12.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in 29.8 minutes per game across 147 starts. The 25-year-old was ninth in Defensive Player of the Year voting a year ago and Fernandez believes he’s capable of finishing much higher than that.

“I believe he’ll be Defensive Player of the Year,” Fernandez said. “For us, he’s a priority in this summer, and the way we can play through him — obviously he’s great in pick-and-roll, he’s quick to the rim, he puts pressure on the rim — but also his ability to play the dribble-handoff game which, as you guys know, lately in the NBA is a style that is very efficient. … So he fits perfectly what we want to do moving forward.”

Marks was also effusive in his praise for the young big man.

“I think he’s scratched the surface on who he could end up being one day,” the Nets’ GM said. “I love the challenge of him being Defensive Player of the Year. Nic and I have talked in the offseasons about similar accolades, Most Improved Player, Defensive Player, All-Defensive team and so forth. So, I think he has the skill set, he has the mind to be able to put himself in those positions if he continues to work and continue to develop.”

Although his previous contract only covered two seasons, Claxton was with the Nets for three years before that, so the team will have his full Bird rights. That gives the front office the ability to go over the cap, all the way up to the maximum salary, to re-sign him. While a max deal is probably unlikely, Claxton is considered a good bet to command at least $20MM per year on the open market and the Nets figure to face competition from rival suitors.

Brian Lewis of The New York Post recently suggested that the odds are better than 50/50 that Claxton will re-sign with Brooklyn, noting that the team has been preparing for the possibility of giving him a substantial raise.

Pistons Notes: FA, Trade Targets, Draft, President, More

Appearing on the HoopsHype podcast with Michael Scotto, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic said the Pistons will likely explore the viability of pursuing Miles Bridges or Tobias Harris in free agency, though he conceded that could change depending who they hire to be the new president of basketball operations.

While he doesn’t expect Detroit to give anyone a long-term, maximum-salary deal, Edwards suggested a short-term deal with a higher annual salary could be an option if the team pursues Bridges or Harris. Edwards also thinks the Pistons will undergo a “significant roster overhaul” this offseason through a combination of trades and free agent signings, with Malik Monk another impending free agent to potentially keep an eye on.

Scotto said the Nets want to keep Nic Claxton on a long-term contract, and Brian Lewis of The New York Post recently told Scotto he believes there’s better than a 50/50 chance the center will remain with Brooklyn. However, Edwards thinks Claxton would fill a major need for Detroit as a rim protector, even though it might push Jalen Duren to a reserve role.

Edwards previously listed five ideas for the new head of basketball operations, and Scotto believes Bucks GM Jon Horst, a Michigan native, is the main name to keep an eye on.

As for the futures of GM Troy Weaver and head coach Monty Williams, Edwards said he wouldn’t be surprised if neither is back next season, particularly Weaver. Despite being on a lucrative long-term deal, Edwards placed the odds at 60/40 that Williams would not be Detroit’s head coach in 2024/25.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • Edwards of The Athletic predicts that, of the veteran free agents Detroit has this offseason, only Simone Fontecchio will be retained. Edwards is convinced of that happening, putting the odds at 100%. He also thinks Fontecchio will receive a four-year deal worth in the range of $56-68MM as a restricted free agent. The Italian forward has said he expects to be back next season.
  • In a mailbag for The Detroit Free Press (subscription required), Omari Sankofa II discusses the Pistons’ basketball operations hierarchy, among other topics. The objective of hiring a president of basketball operations, according to Sankofa’s sources, is to “unify a front office that has clearly hit a significant stump, to say the least, in its ongoing remake of the team.” That person would have full autonomy over who gets hired and fired, Sankofa adds.
  • If the Pistons decide to keep their first-round pick, who should they target? If it lands No. 1 overall, Edwards of The Athletic would select French big man Alexandre Sarr, who played for the Perth Wildcats of the NBL this season. However, if it were up to him, Edwards says he’d trade the pick. After finishing with the worst record in the NBA for the second straight season, Detroit has a 14% chance of landing the top selection and can do no worse than No. 5 overall.

Nets Notes: Claxton, Budenholzer, Borrego, DSJ, Marks

Appearing on the HoopsHype podcast with Michael Scotto, Brian Lewis of The New York Post said he believes there’s better than a 50/50 chance that Nic Claxton will remain with the Nets, suggesting the team has been preparing for having to give the unrestricted free agent center a significant raise.

“I’d go as far as saying they’ve been fretting over it because they’ve had to carve out the money for this,” Lewis said. “They want him back. … I think they’re reasonably confident that they can, as of today, come to some sort of an agreement.”

As for the Nets’ broader plans going forward, Lewis thinks the team will likely wait until 2025 – when Ben Simmons‘ maximum-salary contract comes off the books – to go “big-game hunting,” though that prediction came with a caveat.

“There are a few players who could accelerate that process,” Lewis said. Donovan Mitchell is one of those few. … If another superstar becomes disgruntled – like Giannis (Antetokounmpo), if he decides he’s given a lot of great years to Milwaukee and wants to leave – there are a few players who’d make the Nets pivot off of waiting until 2025. The baseline right now is the summer of 2025.”

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Discussing the search that led to Brooklyn identifying Jordi Fernandez as its next head coach, Lewis said he has heard that Mike Budenholzer‘s contract demands were “rather high” in terms of both years and dollars, while Scotto says James Borrego was another candidate who received legitimate consideration from the Nets alongside their three reported finalists.
  • Dennis Smith Jr. hopes to secure a multiyear contract in free agency this summer, according to Scotto. Asked if he sees himself returning to the Nets, Smith didn’t rule it out. “I don’t know. I wouldn’t mind it,” he said. “I’ve got a great relationship with these guys, and the medical and training staff is one of the best I’ve ever seen in the league – and I’ve got a real perspective on that because I’ve been around. I would welcome that.” For what it’s worth, Lewis believes Smith is more likely to land elsewhere than to remain in Brooklyn, particularly if he’s seeking multiple years.
  • NetsDaily passes along some of the highlights from a Sean Marks Q-and-A session with fans at the HSS Training Center this week. The Nets’ president of basketball operations discussed the team’s roster-building approach in fairly general terms and left the door open to the possibility that the club could trade into this year’s draft.

Nets Notes: Clowney, Claxton, Finney-Smith, Thomas

The late-season emergence of Noah Clowney has the Nets believing he might develop into an effective power forward alongside Nic Claxton, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Clowney and Claxton have been seeing time on the court together lately in a Twin Towers look that Lewis notes is rare in Brooklyn since Sean Marks took over as general manager in 2016.

“I think the league is kind of [changing] — it’s not all about small-ball anymore,” Claxton said. “You see a lot of teams that have two bigs on the court. They have more size on the court. And that’s an area that we’ve really lacked in the past, so maybe that can fix our problems.”

At 19, Clowney is the league’s fourth-youngest player and he needed time to develop his game in the G League after being selected with the 21st pick in last year’s draft. He has appeared in just 22 NBA games and has only been used alongside Claxton in eight of those, but there are signs that they can work together. They combined for 12 blocked shots Wednesday against Toronto, and they’ve been the team’s best two-man combination at +22.8 heading into Friday night.

“If we can figure out how to be real efficient offensively — because we know we can defensively — but if we can figure out how to do it offensively,” Clowney said, “then I think we can be real dangerous together.”

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • If the Nets view Clowney as a rotation player for next season, that could influence their offseason plans, Lewis adds. Cameron Johnson and Dorian Finney-Smith have split time at power forward for most of the season, but both are undersized for the position and Clowney could make one of them expendable. Sources tell Lewis that the Nets turned down offers for Finney-Smith at the last two trade deadlines. He’ll turn 31 next month and is signed for $14.9MM next season with a $15.4MM player option for 2025/26.
  • Claxton, who’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer, tells Michael Scotto of HoopsHype that the chance to negotiate a new contract comes at a perfect time. “I feel great. I’m in a great situation,” he said. “These past couple of years have been really good. I somewhat gambled on myself with a shorter contract, and it’s all paying off.” Scotto views Claxton, who’s in the final season of a two-year, $17.25MM deal, as the top center on the free agent market. Claxton adds that “being a playoff team and winning games” will factor into his decision.
  • Cam Thomas believes his improved performance is a result of getting regular playing time (video link from Erik Slater of Clutch Points). Thomas more than doubled his scoring average in his third NBA season, bringing it to 22.5 PPG in 65 games. “You can’t really develop anywhere if you don’t play,” he said. “… So this year, I really took the reps I got and made the most of them. … First two years, I’m in and out of the lineup, I don’t know when I’m gonna play again. … This year, I’m playing.”

Central Notes: Mitchell, Cavs, Wade, Pistons

Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell was “angrier than he has been all season” following Sunday’s blowout loss to the Nuggets in Denver, writes Chris Fedor of (subscription required). The latest defeat was the culmination of a month filled with injuries and poor play, as Cleveland went just 7-10 in March.

I told you at the beginning of the season, if we had these struggles at this point then it’s a problem,” Mitchell said, referencing an early-November conversation in Oklahoma City after Cleveland dropped to 3-5. “It can’t happen. I can say all this now. We have to find a way to figure it out. It’s not going to linger after tonight. Have to watch the film and get back to what we do. But it can’t happen. We can all point to s–t. It’s April. It’s (expletive) April. We’ve got to figure it out. And we will.”

While he refused to use his knee issue as an excuse, the 27-year-old clearly isn’t 100% physically, according to Fedor, who notes that Mitchell’s numbers are down across the board since he first started dealing with the injury. Normally one of the most explosive players in the league, Mitchell can’t beat defenders off the dribble at the moment, is having his shots blocked more often, and is taking far more threes than normal, Fedor adds.

I’m working back into it. That’s natural. I’m not worried about it. Just continue to build the reps and build the mental confidence in it,” Mitchell said when asked if he was playing at less than full strength. “At the end of the day I’m fine. I have to play better. We all have to play better. I’m not going to sit here and point to that. Everybody else is going to look at it like that. But it’s April. Gotta be better.”

Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said he hasn’t discussed the possibility of resting Mitchell at times down the stretch to give the knee more time to heal, but acknowledged “it’s a conversation we will have to have.” Mitchell said the team isn’t in panic mode yet and he still believes in the group.

I would say it’s more so of a mindset of let’s figure it out as opposed to concern,” Mitchell said, per Fedor. “I think concern breeds anxiety and stress. I don’t think we are at that point. I don’t want to go like, ‘Oh we’re panicking.’ We’re not there. I think it’s just we have to figure it out and we have the capability to do it. I have the utmost confidence in our group and everybody to do that.”

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Cavaliers forward Dean Wade may miss the rest of the regular season with a knee sprain, sources tell Fedor (subscriber link). One of the team’s top defenders, Wade last played on March 8. While he has been making progress in recent days, there’s no guarantee the 27-year-old will be back in time for the playoffs, according to Fedor.
  • In a mailbag column, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic says he expects the last-place Pistons to undergo a major roster overhaul in the offseason. Edwards believes Detroit needs to prioritize shooting and defense this summer, and lists Tobias Harris, Nic Claxton, and Paul George as three potential free agents to keep an eye on, though he acknowledges George is a “long shot.”
  • The Pistons entered the season with high expectations, and have fallen well short of their goals on almost every level, per Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (subscriber link). Considering they only won 17 games last year and may finish with the worst record in franchise history in 2023/24, it’s clear that significant changes are needed. Sankofa takes stock of the season and considers how Detroit may look to rectify some of its mistakes going forward.

New York Notes: Claxton, Clowney, Anunoby, Hartenstein

Nets center Nic Claxton only attempted three shots in Tuesday’s loss to Milwaukee, which was a season low, and the team would be wise to get him more involved before he hits unrestricted free agency this offseason, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post (subscription required).

I’m open a lot,” Claxton told the Post. “I’ve just got to keep putting myself in the right spots and hope that I get the ball.

According to Lewis, Claxton has been Brooklyn’s most consistent player in 2023/24, and has shown improvement as a play-maker and in the pick-and-roll, with interim head coach Kevin Ollie calling the 24-year-old the team’s “hub.”

He’s a great passer. He’s unselfish,” Ollie said of Claxton. “We run a lot of our backside action with him with the ball, some of our high frequencies of offensive possessions, of our (dribble hand-offs) with him handling it, and then him being able to hand it off to Dennis (Schröder) or Mikal (Bridges), then him rolling behind that and getting some lobs, which has been great.

Him doing those different things has allowed us to play freer basketball. I’m gonna continue to allow him to do that. I allow him to push the ball up the court, take advantages there. I just want him to play unlocked basketball and continue to be our hub. But with freedom comes discipline, too. He has to take care of the ball and continue to do those certain things as well.

However, as Lewis writes, if Claxton’s lack of touches continues, it’s possible he might begin to question his role and future with the Nets. According to Lewis’ sources, Claxton is expected to command $20MM+ annually on the open market this summer.

Here are a few more notes on the league’s two New York-based teams:

  • Rookie big man Noah Clowney had one of the better outings of his young career on Thursday vs. Milwaukee, scoring five points and grabbing four rebounds while showcasing an ability to switch across multiple positions on defense, per Lucas Kaplan of NetsDaily. The Nets were plus-10 in Clowney’s 14 minutes. He has only appeared in 11 games for an average of 9.1 MPG, having spent most of his rookie campaign in the G League with Long Island. While some fans have been clamoring for Clowney to play power forward instead of center, Kaplan says in the long run the 19-year-old’s overall development is much more important than the position he ends up playing in the future.
  • Knicks forward OG Anunoby was ruled out for his third straight game on Saturday vs. the Nets, tweets Ian Begley of Anunoby is dealing with soreness in his surgically repaired elbow, with the team officially listing him out for right elbow injury management. It’s unclear when the impending free agent will return to action — he played three games last week before the elbow flared up, and while it’s reportedly improving, he continues to be sidelined for now.
  • He isn’t quite the defender Mitchell Robinson is, but Isaiah Hartenstein is a much better passer and he’s done an admirable job filling in as the Knicks‘ starting center, according to Steve Popper of Newsday (subscriber link). Another impending free agent, Hartenstein said he tries to make a positive impact no matter what his role is. “I tell everyone in the NBA you always have to sacrifice,” Hartenstein said. “Before, especially when we had Julius (Randle), we had all those guys, I had a kind of different role. Now I’m playing how I’m used to playing.”

New York Notes: Claxton, Nets, Johnson, Anunoby

Nic Claxton is headed to free agency after the season and Nets interim coach Kevin Ollie wants his center to continue showing growth as an offensive threat. He’s averaging 15.0 points and 3.1 assists in seven games this month, Jared Schwartz of the New York Post notes.

“I want [Claxton] to be unlocked, I don’t want him to be in a box offensively,” Ollie said. “I want him to do all kinds of things on the court because he’s doing everything on the defensive end for us — blocking shots, rebounding. We need to throw him the ball, but he needs to demand the ball as well. I’m telling our guards, ‘We gotta reward the big fella, because he’s doing a lot of cleaning up for us on the defensive end.’ When he does have two feet in the paint and he’s established, he should be getting the ball.”

We have more on the New York teams:

  • The Nets have dropped three of their four games during their current road trip and Wednesday’s 114-106 loss at Orlando was troubling, Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes. They trailed by double digits three minutes into the contest and never recovered. They’re now 3.5 games behind Atlanta for the final play-in spot. “The same thing that’s been going on just this last stretch: We didn’t make shots and our energy just wasn’t where it needed to be,” Claxton said. “It’s frustrating, man. It’s not easy. It’s frustrating. Nobody likes losing, like I always say. But we’ve just got to get ready for Indiana (on Saturday).”
  • Cameron Johnson was one of the few bright spots for the Nets on Wednesday, Lewis notes. He returned after missing three games due to an ankle sprain and contributed 13 points, three rebounds and two assists in 29 minutes. “We’re going to always look at what’s best for the team,” Ollie said. “I just thought he took care of his minutes, finished the game for us and, you know, that’s what I want him to understand.”
  • Knicks forward OG Anunoby is glad he opted for right elbow surgery, according to Peter Botte of The New York Post. In his return on Tuesday, he played 29 minutes and posted 14 points and four rebounds against Philadelphia. “It’s a lot better than it was the month of January,” Anunoby said. “I’m happy. Should get better and better.” Anunoby is expected to decline his $19.9MM contract option for next season in order to become an unrestricted free agent, though a new deal with New York is considered the most likely outcome.

Nets Notes: Bridges, Thomas, Claxton, Johnson

Cam Thomas returned from an ankle sprain for the last two Nets games and it’s had a positive effect on their top player, Mikal Bridges, according to The New York Post’s Brian Lewis.

Thomas had 29 points and five assists in a win over Cleveland on Sunday, while Bridges had his best offensive output in five games, supplying 25 points and five assists. Bridges shot 9-for-14 from the field.

“It was good for Mikal, too, to see some shots go in, and coming off the curl, playing off [Thomas], just taking the pressure off himself and stepping up,” interim coach Kevin Ollie said. “He puts so much work in, so I know those seeds that he’s planted are going to bloom and blossom at some point.”

We have more on the Nets:

  • Speaking of Thomas, the team is looking for him to be a more well-rounded player instead of just being known as a scorer, Lewis writes. He showed signs of that against the Cavaliers. “Yeah, we challenged him about the EGBs [energy-generating behaviors]. He had seven rebounds, five assists. So it wasn’t all his scoring,” Ollie said. “He was contributing in other ways, and that’s great to see. I want him to keep that up. We’re gonna keep challenging him. We want him to be a masterpiece on the offensive end and a masterpiece on a defensive end. And he can do it. But we’ve got to keep challenging [him].”
  • Thomas is extension-eligible this offseason and it’ll be tough to attach a dollar figure to him due to his reputation as a one-dimensional player, Lucas Kaplan of opines. Meanwhile, unrestricted free agent Nic Claxton will be one of the top players on the market. Claxton is the team’s defensive stalwart but his inconsistent performances sometimes lead to bad losses, Kaplan writes.
  • Forward Cameron Johnson has been upgraded to probable for the team’s road game against the Magic on Wednesday, Lewis tweets. Johnson has missed the last three games.