Georgia Basketball: Brooklyn Nets get a steal with Nicolas Claxton

(Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) /

Georgia basketball had Nicolas Claxton drafted by the Brooklyn Nets in the 2019 NBA draft.

For the first time since 2013, a Georgia basketball men’s player has been taken in the NBA Draft. The Brooklyn Nets selected Georgia forward Nicolas Claxton as the 31st overall pick.

The 6-foot-11 Claxton was the first pick in the second round.

Claxton’s freshman year he only averaged 3.9 points per game, but he blossomed under new head coach Tom Crean in his second year.

During his sophomore campaign, Claxton averaged 13.0 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks. He was also named All-SEC Second Team. His free-throw shooting improved as well.

He wasn’t a top-100 prospect out of high school, but former men’s basketball coach Mark Fox took a chance on him.

Claxton’s family has very close ties with the program because his father, Charles, played for the Bulldogs from 1992-95. Charles was also named to the All-SEC team in 1993 and had a brief stint with the Boston Celtics.

In early May, Claxton decided to enter the draft and got projected to go as the No. 27 pick.

“It definitely wasn’t an easy decision, especially with the situation of all the new guys coming in,” Claxton said to DawgNation after deciding to stay in the draft. “I really wanted to play with those new guys. And I didn’t have a lot of closure from this past year. It feels like the season just ended, and I really didn’t know when I was going (leave for the NBA). But after testing the waters and getting the feedback I got, I feel like I made the right decision. And I’ll be able to go back and get my degree later on.”

In my opinion, Claxton should have stayed another year at Georgia to improve his draft stock.

Towards the end of his freshman season, you could tell he was going to be a breakout player. After one year under Crean, Claxton elevated his game and became a real threat down low.

I definitely thought he would have come back with this new crop that Crean has recruited, and they would have progressed his skills even more.

With the amount of talent that is in the 2019 class for Georgia, I would have thought it would have made him work even harder than he already has.

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But like any other Georgia fan, I would have loved to have seen Claxton and Anthony Edwards on the floor together.  Either way, I am happy for Claxton and his family. He has achieved so much in his young life, and only more greatness will come.