The Los Angeles Lakers have a big summer coming up with looking to make a splash on the free agency scene. Kobe Bryant is gone and now it’s time to build on their fountain of youth. That youth includes D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and a hopeful draft of Brandon Ingram with the 2nd pick in the NBA draft (I’m keeping my fingers crossed). If you haven’t noticed, there has been one guy left off of this list and that’s Jordan Clarkson. And that’s because he’s a free agent this summer and his destination is unknown. He’s loving his time in Los Angeles and his desire is to re-sign with the Lakers:
“So, I want to be here in L.A.,” Clarkson said. “This is the place where I want to call home, so I’m just in the gym and working. That’s all I can control—myself getting better. If I end up somewhere else or I stay in L.A., that’s what I’d love to do.”
Los Angeles is the place for Jordan Clarkson and I’m hoping that they can figure it out. He’s a solid player that can become a staple at the shooting guard position. We’ve seen a lot of growth from Clarkson just last season and I’m confident in his skill set that he can uphold that position. He naturally has the athletic ability to get the basket and he’s improved his shot a lot since coming into the league. There’s still more work to be done in that aspect but he plans on working on that:
“What I’ve been focused on recently is a lot of shots off the dribble, coming off screens. Mostly just boosting my three-point percentage,” he explained afterward. “There’s times where, in the game, I have to shoot those kind of shots, and I just want to be able to make them.”
Shooting is a huge absence in the Lakers roster so they need all the help they can get in that aspect. But another bright spot for Clarkson is his size and length. He’s listed at 6’5 with a wingspan of 6’8 and if you combine that with his 6’5 point guard in Russell and the 6’9 stature of Brandon Ingram (there goes that name again), that could raise hell on the defensive end.
There was previous discussion of the Lakers flirting with signing DeMar DeRozan, who expressed interest in joining Los Angeles but that died as a report stated the Lakers weren’t that high on DeRozan which brings joy to my heart. DeMar is an athletic two guard that makes his living off of getting to the free throw line. His mid-range jumper is okay but when it comes to shooting outside, his shot is really suspect and that’s not something the Lakers need. That style of play just doesn’t cut it for me and we’ve seen how guys like DeRozan struggle in the playoffs when those calls aren’t being made. So why not build in a young guard in Clarkson and use that ‘DeRozan’ money somewhere else. As crazy as it may sound, I’d rather have Clarkson at my two position than DeRozan.
Jordan Clarkson has a lot of attributes to his game that are attractive to the basketball eye. His size and athleticism combined with his youth and huge upside makes him a great player to have. He’s built great chemistry with the rest of the young core and the fact that he wants to stay in LA and help this team build is a big thumbs up in my eyes. He could easily go sign to a winning team or chase a big contract but he wants to be a part of the Lakers franchise and I love that dedication.