Jordan Clarkson is expected to be one of the casualties once the Los Angeles Lakers proceed with their plan to pursue two superstars next summer. The Lakers need to shed some salaries in order to sign two maximum-contract players who can help them return to title contention.
In an interview with Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times, Jordan Clarkson revealed that he’s aware of the trade rumors surrounding him. However, instead of being distracted, the Filipino-American guard used it as a motivation to continue improving his game and said that he understood that NBA is a business.
“To me it’s motivation,” Clarkson said of the trade rumors. “It’s a business, you’re either going to be here or you ain’t. Wherever I am I want to be productive.”
Several NBA teams, who need to improve their second unit, will surely love the idea of adding Jordan Clarkson to their roster. The 25-year-old shooting guard is currently one of the best bench players in the league and emerged as a top candidate to win the Sixth Man of the Year.
Since the arrival of Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka, the Lakers already started freeing salary cap scape. In the recent offseason, they managed to unload Timofey Mozgov’s expensive contract to the Brooklyn Nets by sacrificing a former second overall pick, D’Angelo Russell.
Jordan Clarkson doesn’t see himself having a hard time adjusting to a different environment. After the Lakers’ numerous moves this offseason, Clarkson is already used to seeing new faces in the locker room and on the court.
“You don’t really understand that until you’ve been around for a while you see guys get traded,” Clarkson said. “People that are close to you. Shoot. My last three years I walked into a locker room and seen all new faces. It’s not nothing new for me. Now it’s just part of the business. Come in, put on this jersey, play for your teammates and try to get wins.”
As of now, Clarkson continues to establish an impressive performance in the 2017-18 NBA season. In 14 games, he averaged 15.5 points and 2.7 assists while shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from beyond the arc. On Monday night against the Phoenix Suns, Clarkson helped the Lakers end their three-game losing streak, posting 25 points, three rebounds, and three assists.
With his current performance, the Lakers can easily find a trade partner once they make Clarkson available on the market. They could get at least a first-round pick for the Filipino-American guard. However, the Lakers should think twice before letting Clarkson go. A promising player like him could help the Lakers revive their legacy in the post-Kobe Bryant era.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]