Jordan Clarkson is accustomed to NBA trade rumors especially since the Los Angeles Lakers’ fiery sparkplug had been involved in these mid-season bonanzas for the past couple of seasons now. And while he is still playing the Lakers, there is a great chance that this is the season that Clarkson finally leaves Los Angeles. That said, here are two teams that could land the dynamic combo-guard.
NBA fans are accustomed to hearing that all the drama come from La La Land. While LaVar Ball is certainly is living up to that billing, the blockbuster scenes are surprisingly coming elsewhere – from a team that is tagged by many as the team-to-beat in the Eastern Conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
So why would this team from Ohio be needing Jordan Clarkson, especially with a star-studded lineup led by LeBron James and Kevin Love, and reinforced by All-Stars Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, and Derrick Rose? The aforementioned drama plays a part in this narrative but it’s not really the issue here.
The Cavs are still one of the most potent offensive teams in the entire league. It’s on the defensive side of things that they are struggling with as evidenced by them giving up 148 points to the OKC Thunder at home. And this is where Clarkson could be of help to the Cavaliers.
According to Lakers Nation, Brian Windhorst of ESPN revealed, during an interview with ESPN Cleveland Radio, that the Lakers and the Cavaliers have had “conversations” about Clarkson.
Coming into the league, Clarkson had a reputation of being a good defensive player. And while the Laker guard has performed well on defense, his offensive game has matured as well. In addition to being younger, Clarkson is quicker than Wade at this point in their careers. Clarkson is also stronger and longer than both Thomas and Rose which allows him to guard at least three positions while still being a threat on offense. While basketball is a team game, adding another versatile two-way player would certainly be a boon for the Cavaliers.
"In recent days, the Cavs have had conversations with the Lakers." - @WindhorstESPN just now on ESPN Cleveland. mentions Jordan Clarkson as a potential target— Jordan Zirm (@clevezirm) January 23, 2018
On the other hand, the Lakers are looking to clear some cap space in an effort to land a superstar during the upcoming 2018 free agency season. Along with Julius Randle, the Lakers have also revealed that they are open to shipping Clarkson. The 25-year-old Clarkson is still under contract with the Lakers until the 2019-2020 season but his salary is a relative bargain when compared against players having similar statistics.
The only hitch in this situation seems to be the need for a trade kicker. As stated above, the Lakers need to shed their bad contracts and no contract is worse than that of Luol Deng. The Lakers would certainly package a deal that would allow them to trade Clarkson only if Deng is included in the swap. And while both Clarkson and the Lakers organization have stated that they are willing to discuss possible trade scenarios, the Cavaliers would probably do a double take before getting involved with Deng’s enormous contract.
The Orlando Magic started off the gates with guns blazing. Then everything went downhill from there. Languishing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, this Magic squad clearly need reinforcements.
According to Hoop Central, Jordan Clarkson and the Orlando Magic have shown mutual interest with regards to a possible deal. While the Magic have already stated that they are willing to let go of several players including French superstar Evan Fournier, a deal involving the Lakers and the Magic hasn’t been made yet.
Clarkson could provide this relatively young Magic squad the leadership it is seemingly lacking. It can be remembered the Laker legend Kobe Bryant was a mentor of Clarkson. That being said, Magic players could use a bit of the Mamba mentality that Clarkson has exhibited in his last few games.
What makes Clarkson a tantalizing prospect for the Cavaliers also applies for the Magic. And with nowhere to go but up, acquiring Jordan Clarkson wouldn’t be a bad move by the Orlando Magic. And it also can be a great place for Clarkson to prove that he isn’t just a glorified backup to budding superstars. A win-win scenario if there ever was one.