After winning an NBA championship title and four consecutive trips in the NBA Finals, LeBron James decided to leave his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to join the Los Angeles Lakers. The departure of James is undeniably a huge loss for the Cavaliers. Without him on their roster, it remains a big question if Cleveland could still return to the NBA Finals or even earn a playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference.
However, Jordan Clarkson, who the Cavaliers acquired before the February NBA Trade deadline, remains confident that the Cavaliers will just be fine despite losing the best basketball player on the planet. The Filipino-American guard went as far as saying that the Cavaliers are “going to shock a lot of people” next season, per Joe Vardon of Cleveland Plain Dealer.
“I feel like we’re going to shock a lot of people this year just because LeBron left. I feel great about the team, coaching staff. They got a lot of belief in guys, so I’m just ready to strap it up and get ready for the season now.”
The Cavaliers still have one superstar on their roster – Kevin Love. When James left, most people expect the Cavaliers to trade Love and undergo a full-scale rebuild. However, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman revealed that they intend to keep the All-Star forward and remain competitive next season.
Not every gamble pays off. The Cavaliers just learned that the hard way. Remember back in February when Cleveland re-did its roster, shipping Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and its first-round pick to the Lakers for Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson? Tha… https://t.co/jPZ8miQMOY pic.twitter.com/iYehcCWJp3— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSportsUS) July 4, 2018
As the Cavaliers’ main option on the offensive end next season, the expectations are expected to be high for Kevin Love, The same thing goes for other Cavaliers like Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. They need to prove that the Cavaliers made the right decision to give up their own 2018 first-round pick to acquire them from the Lakers.
Clarkson has gone through ups and down in his first season with the Cavaliers. In the postseason, Clarkson earned plenty of criticism for being aggressive on the offensive end despite his poor field goal percentage. The Filipino-American guard admitted that the games in the regular reason are very different in the playoffs. His body needed to make a huge adjustment since it’s his first appearance in the postseason.
“And in terms of my body and stuff, I have to take care of my body all year, because like I said this was my first time playing after April, but it’s those guys that keep up with themselves, keep playing at that high level, taking care of their bodies,” Clarkson said.
Aside from developing his game, Jordan Clarkson is currently focused on improving his physique. Clarkson revealed that his new Los Angeles trainer has already changed his diet and ordered him to spend more time in the weight room.