Brooklyn Nets rookie forward-center Nicolas Claxton, whose parents are from St. Thomas, will miss the NBA’s restart after having successful arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder earlier this week.
Claxton, 21, underwent the arthroscopic procedure to repair the labrum — the cup-shaped cartilage that lines the shoulder’s ball-and-socket joint — on Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. The operation was performed by Dr. Riley Williams III.
The surgery means that Claxton will not join Brooklyn and 21 other NBA teams in Orlando, Fla., when the 2019-2020 season resumes on July 30. Team officials said in a prepared release that he is expected to make a full recovery in time for training camp next season.
“Surgery was successful,” Claxton tweeted Friday morning. “I’ll be back stronger. Ready for next year,” followed by a praying hands emoticon.
Drafted by the Nets with the opening pick of the second round in the 2019 NBA Draft (the 31st pick overall), Claxton appeared in just 15 games this season, averaging 4.4 points and 2.9 rebounds per game and shot 56.3 percent from the field.
The Greenville, S.C., native also spent time with the Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s G League affiliate. In nine games, Claxton averaged 16.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 blocks, and shot 65.9 percent from the field.
When the season was suspended March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Nets were seventh in the Eastern Conference standings and fourth in the Atlantic Division at 30-34.
— Bill Kiser