Potential first-rounder, Georgia’s Nicolas Claxton, staying in 2019 NBA Draft

AP Photo/Michael Woods

Georgia sophomore Nicolas Claxton drew a clear bright line for the 2019 NBA Draft.

If he thought he’d be a first-round pick, he’d stay in. If he believed he’d slip past the first round, he’d return to college.

Apparently, he has gotten enough positive feedback.


Claxton is project with interesting tools. He’s a 7-foot center with ability to put the ball on the floor and initiate the offense.

Nearly everything else is theoretical.

With his length (7-foot-2.5 wingspan), he’s a good shot-blocker. But he must get much stronger. Right now, he gets pushed off his spots on both ends. It’s impossible to judge his toughness, because he’s not strong enough to compete inside.

Claxton flashes perimeter defensive ability that could make him a good switch defender. But he must refine that skill.

Likewise, he’s raw with traditional offensive big-man skills. A theoretical jumper offers potential for him to go another way.

It’s hard to project what Claxton will look like in the NBA if his game comes together. But there’s reason for intrigue.