NBA Free Agency: Los Angeles Lakers Give Jordan Clarkson $50 Million

Free agency in the NBA has begun, and millions of dollars have already been tossed around. According to ESPN, the Los Angeles Lakers have locked up Jordan Clarkson by handing him a four-year contract worth $50 million. The move guarantees that the Lakers are going to have their starting back court together for the next couple of years.

It’s not very often that second round picks in the NBA Draft end up becoming star players. Jordan Clarkson is hoping to become one of those rare gems. Despite being a 46th overall selection, Clarkson has shown enough potential to become a long-term starter in the National Basketball Association.

Jordan Clarkson proved himself to the Los Angeles Lakers last season. He was the second leading scorer behind Kobe Bryant. His average of 15.5 points a game might skyrocket now that Bryant has decided to retire from the NBA after two decades of dominance.

NBA legend Kobe Bryant
As of right now, the Los Angeles Lakers starting back court will consist of Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell. Both guys are combination guards, so they will take turns handling the ball. Clarkson and Russell also like to score, so they will have to take turns doing that as well.

Brandon Ingram was chosen by the Los Angeles Lakers with the third overall selection in the NBA Draft, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. The former Duke Blue Devils star is slated to start at small forward, but there will be times where he will share the back court with Jordan Clarkson.

While a lot of NBA players like going back home to play, Jordan Clarkson opted against that because the San Antonio Spurs already have Danny Green locked into to a long-term contract. With the Los Angeles Lakers, Clarkson played more minutes than anyone else on the team last season.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram
Earlier in the year, then Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott stated that Jordan Clarkson would not be playing a lot if he doesn’t improve his defense, as reported by the Los Angeles Daily News.

Former Golden State Warriors associate head coach Luke Walton is the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. He is now tasked with helping Jordan Clarkson become a better defender in the NBA. Clarkson will have to improve in that area if the Lakers want to avoid another season missing the playoffs.

After winning just 17 games, the Los Angeles Lakers are more than eager to spend the $55 million that they have in salary cap space. General manager Mitch Kupchak is worried that his tenure with the team will end after another losing season, so he’s going to be quite aggressive in free agency.

Los Angeles Lakers center Timofey Mozgov
In the early hours of free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers have already made an agreement with Timofey Mozgov, as reported by ESPN. The team is handing him $64 million to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and battle for their starting center position.

Mitch Kupchak views Timofey Mozgov as an upgrade over Roy Hibbert, the Los Angeles Lakers’ starting center last season. By adding Mozgov to the roster and locking down Jordan Clarkson to a four-year deal, Kupchak is hoping that his starting lineup is set to become competitive again.

Jordan Clarkson beat the odds by becoming a second round pick that turned into a starter. Now, the Los Angeles Lakers are hoping that he beats the odds by becoming an All Star player. They’re spending a lot of money in hopes that he can help turn around the franchise.

[Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images]