NBA Draft 2019 Prospect Watch: Nicolas Claxton

ATHENS, GA - JANUARY 30: (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GA - JANUARY 30: (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, IL – MAY 14: (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – MAY 14: (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The University of Georgia Sophomore Nicolas Claxton flew under the radar for much of the NCAA season, but the draft process has uncovered a potential defensive monster that may just suit the Milwaukee Bucks’ style perfectly.

While Nicolas (Nic) Claxton did not play for a college “blue blood”, his time on the court for the Georgia Bulldogs was exceptionally unique, and at times, nothing short of spectacular.

The lanky 7-footer literally did everything for the Bulldogs, including initiating the offense, switching on all five positions defensively, hitting some three-pointers, skying high for dunks, rebounding effectively, and leading the SEC in blocks. This led to a Second Team All-SEC selection, and an invite to the NBA Draft combine in May.

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Anytime a 7-footer comes along with these unique abilities, more time needs to be spent digging into the NBA projection.  Claxton has a foundation that will earn him a guaranteed paycheck in the NBA, in that he is a terrific defender for a big man. He can guard multiple positions, block shots, has the IQ to understand team concepts, and the motor to work hard at constantly improving.

While this foundation carries immense value in the NBA, the 20-year old Claxton surely understands that sticking in the NBA is no guarantee. Claxton’s father, Charles, also played for the Georgia Bulldogs and was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in 1994, only appearing in three career NBA games.

Claxton was one of the last players to decide to forgo his remaining college years and remain in the NBA Draft, using first round projection feedback as what led to the decision, as Chip Towers of DawgNation writes:

"“There are no assurances out there but, yeah, I’m told it’s a real strong possibility after the combine… I went there and did my thing and there’s a lot of buzz around my name now. So we feel good about it.”"

Claxton took to Twitter on May 28 to make his official announcement.

Now that we know Claxton is remaining in the draft and has his eyes set on a first round selection, let’s dig a little deeper into what might make that projection a reality.