The future of the Los Angeles Lakers is still to be determined. The roster is full of young, developing talent and with the 2nd pick in the upcoming draft, a new young player will be added to the team. Many people believe that pick will be Lonzo Ball, a dynamic guard looking to make an impact right away. But with a new guard with so hype surrounding his name coming into town, what does that mean for Jordan Clarkson?
There have been rumors that Jordan Clarkson could be on the trading block. While they’re only rumors, there could be merit to them being that Earvin “Magic” Johnson himself said that Brandon Ingram is the only guy that he’s not willing to trade. Does this mean a new city could be in the future for Jordan Clarkson and should the Lakers even considering letting him go?
Being that the Los Angeles Lakers are slim at the guard position and being that I don’t believe there’s much value in his stock at the moment, I say no. Coming into the past season, I thought it would be a breakout year for Clarkson. Being that he took advantage of the increase in minutes due to Kobe Bryant’s injury back in the 2014-2015 season and displayed, even more, promise during the 2015-2016 season, I just knew that this year would be his year. I envisioned him becoming the go-to guy on offense and really maturing in his third season but that wasn’t the case.
With a number of guards on the roster in Lou Williams, Nick Young, and D’Angelo Russell, Luke Walton decided to bring Clarkson off of the bench. While Clarkson wasn’t publicly against the move, his game suffered just a bit. The reduction in minutes caused his point production to slightly drop and his three-point percentage was not quite where you wanted it to be in this day and age.
Also, like I mentioned earlier that maturity that you hope to see in a young player’s third year just wasn’t there. Moments like forcing the issue when it’s not there, ill-advised shots, and careless turnovers shined bright for Clarkson this season. Many hoped to see him become more efficient and also add a little playmaking to his game but that just wasn’t the case. Maybe coming off of the bench had something to do with it because, at times, Clarkson had moments of trying to “get his” instead of getting others involved.
While I wasn’t very impressed with Jordan Clarkson last season, I don’t believe trading him is the best move. With Lou Williams gone and Nick Young still yet to make a decision, the Lakers are going to need depth at the guard position. If he can fully embrace his role and get some polishing from someone like Magic, I believe he can take advantage of playing with the 2nd unit. Also, I just don’t believe the market is there for him. Many teams aren’t going to give up much for a guy like Clarkson who still needs to develop. Unless the Lakers are packaging in the horrible contracts of Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov, I’d rather see Jordan Clarkson stay in a purple and gold uniform.