The Los Angeles Lakers have openly shopped Jordan Clarkson in the trade market in hope of avoiding a potential logjam in their backcourt. According to Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders, if the Lakers really intend to unload the 24-year old combo guard, the trade could take place as soon as the draft night.

Is Clarkson a goner?

Clarkson, who averaged 14.7 points and 3.0 rebounds in 29 minutes per game last season, more than surpassed his career projections after he was taken 46th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft. After putting up decent numbers in his first two years in the league, the former Missouri standout signed a four-year, $50 million contract last summer, making him the third highest-paid player on the Lakers’ roster behind Timofey Mozgov ($16M per year) and Luol Deng ($18M per year).

Although Clarkson still couldn’t guard elite guards in the Western Conference, he proved to be an excellent scorer off the bench following the Lou Williams trade to the Houston Rockets. Then at the latter part of the 2016/17 season, head coach Luke Walton used Clarkson as the primary ball handler in order to determine if D’Angelo Russell can play at the two-guard spot.

All in all, 2016/17 season was a solid campaign for Clarkson. Unfortunately, with the Lakers front office setting sight on another playmaker (Lonzo Ball of UCLA or Markelle Fultze of Washington), someone on their backcourt rotation has to be used as a sacrificial pawn. Clarkson appears to be that guy.

"I've been told by someone in the know that the Lakers are 'increasingly open-minded' about trading Jordan Clarkson and to not be surprised for him to end up being moved as soon as draft night.

That's conjecture at this point, as the Lakers need not rush to clear what may appear to be a logjam in the making," per Hamilton.

Potential landing spots for Clarkson

Should Magic Johnson Pull The Trigger on the Clarkson trade, expect the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic to line up for his service.

These teams have the assets in the forms of draft picks and promising young players to entice the Lakers’ executive.

The Sixers have a promising future with Joel Embiid manning the middle and Ben Simmons possibly running the show at the point guard spot. Clarkson could fit in well as potential sixth man for the team, providing a steady source of points off the bench.

The Nets, on the other hand, would be glad to reunite Clarkson and Jeremy Lin on their backcourt. The two played together on the Lakers during Clarkson’s rookie season. Finally, the Magic might join the fray as well. With trade deadline acquisition Terrence Ross still pretty much inconsistent, Clarkson could solve Orlando’s search for a reliable scorer off their bench.

Follow the page NBA
Follow
Don't miss our page on Facebook!