With the possibility of rebuilding an option the Chicago Bulls would rather avoid, a few trade opportunities may present themselves soon. The Bulls could use some of their assets to acquire a player or two, and one of those players could be Los Angeles Lakers combo guard Jordan Clarkson.
If the Chicago Bulls want Jordan Clarkson, they may be able to get him, as long as they are willing to meet the Los Angeles Lakers asking price. Clarkson is reportedly being shopped around the NBA. According to Lakers Nation, the Lakers are calling teams to gauge their interest in the reserve guard.
One of those teams that have likely received a phone call are the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have a need for a handful of things — athleticism, shooting, youth, and versatility. Clarkson would bring a bit of everything to the Chicago Bulls.
Backup guard-play doomed the Bulls during the season, especially from the point guard spot. The Bulls woes became apparent whenever starter Rajon Rondo was either ineffective with moving the offense or if he was on the bench. The Bulls’ coaching staff went as far benching Rondo (courtesy of Slam) in favor of one of the younger players after some late December struggles. Neither of them took the opportunity and ran with it.
According to CSN Chicago’s Mark Strotman, the Lakers’ Clarkson would upgrade the Bulls’ backcourt immensely. Clarkson would likely be a sixth man on the team with Rondo in place, which is fine.
On the NBA’s stats website, the Bulls’ bench was ranked in the middle of every statistical category, except for rebounding. The rebounding numbers were a byproduct of the shooting struggles the Bulls had.
Clarkson was a solid shooter last season with the Los Angeles Lakers, making 44.5 percent of his field goals. He shot 33 percent from long distance. That would have the Lakers guard ranked near the middle of the Bulls’ roster were he on the team. Rajon Rondo led the Bulls in three-point shooting with 37 percent.
The main difference between Jordan Clarkson and the Bulls’ holdovers of Jerian Grant, Cameron Payne, and Isaiah Canaan is that the Lakers’ guard is a proven commodity. He has started games in the NBA and fared well.
Clarkson is not a star in the making in the Lakers’ eyes, but identifying stars has never been an easy task. Bulls wing Jimmy Butler was never expected to reach stardom. He had to continuously work on his game to get where he is. The same can be said for Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas. Thomas was not only the last pick in the 2011 draft. Both Butler and Thomas made themselves into the players they are through practice.
The Lakers’ Clarkson was a second-round pick and is about to turn 25-years-old. The book is still out on him, but his game could improve from just getting traded away.
What the Lakers would want in return for Jordan Clarkson could be salary relief. If that is the case, a player on their rookie contract and or a second-round pick could be enough to get a deal done. If it took a first-round pick to pry Clarkson away, would the Chicago Bulls do it?
Unless it is a future first-rounder with some protections included, it is difficult to see any team trading for Clarkson, let alone the Bulls. A first-round pick in this year’s NBA draft may be too steep a price.
Everyone in the league, including the Bulls, knows that the Los Angeles Lakers have to either trade Clarkson or D’Angelo Russell before the NBA draft as they are expecting to take a point guard. Also, the Lakers may not want to add another potential rookie to their mix. A second-round pick to be used on a foreign player who can be stashed overseas could be the intent.
Are the Chicago Bulls going to help the Los Angeles Lakers unload Jordan Clarkson by taking him? For a team that can use some guarantees in their backcourt, Clarkson fits the Bulls like a glove.
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