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Brooklyn Nets player reportedly a top target of Toronto Raptors before NBA trade deadline

If a blockbuster deal is made between the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors ahead of the NBA trade deadline, one Nets player is reportedly a must for the Raptors in any potential trade.

The Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors are in very different positions in the Eastern Conference heading into the Feb. 9 trade deadline. Brooklyn is the fifth-best team in the conference and is just days removed from a blockbuster deal that sent Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks. They are now reportedly on the hunt for another massive move to keep them strong for a run in this year’s playoffs.

On the flip side, the Raptors are currently sitting outside the playoff picture and in a very difficult position where they must decide if they want to be sellers, or hope certain smaller moves can turn around what has been an extremely disappointing campaign in 2022-2023. The two franchises’ divergent paths may actually collide just in time for the NBA trade deadline as the two teams have had talks in recent days about possible deals.

Toronto Raptors very interested in Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton

brooklyn nets
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With less than 24 hours left before the 3 PM ET deadline, whether Kevin Durant wants to stay in Brooklyn or not will have a major effect on the trade market. If he did request a trade, the Toronto Raptors are reportedly one team that would be interested. Yet, there are various other pacts the two organizations could make.

It is no secret that Toronto is not against potential deals that include stars like Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakim, and OG Anunoby. Players that would certainly bolster the Brooklyn Nets roster after the Kyrie Irving trade. However, on Wednesday, SNY NBA insider Ian Begley reported that “Some members of the Raptors have been adamant that Nic Claxton be included in any significant trade with the Nets.”

In his fourth season in the league, Nic Claxton is having his best season with the Brooklyn Nets as their undisputed starting center. He is average career highs in minutes (29.7), points (13.2), rebounds (9.2), and blocks (2.6). The 23-year-old is signed for one more season at just under $9 million (via Spotrac).

Claxton and several first and second-round picks might be an intriguing offer for the Toronto Raptors in possible deals for VanVleet or Anunoby.

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