Jordan Clarkson Emerging As Star For Los Angeles Lakers


The Los Angeles Lakers took Jordan Clarkson with the 46th pick in the 2014 draft. The front office absolutely loved him enough to buy him from the Washington Wizards. In 18 games he’s started for the purple and gold, he is looking like the steal of the draft.

Clarkson showed glimpses of what he can do during the summer league games. He shot a blistering 46-percent from three, had a game-winning tip-in and dazzled the crowd with his drives and passes. He averaged 15.8 points in Las Vegas for the Lakers Summer League team.

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In the beginning of the 2014-15 season, as expected the rookie didn’t play much. He was at the bottom of the totem pole with Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin and Ronnie Price ahead of him for playing time. Luckily for the 6-foot-5 scorer, he can play both guard positions.

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  • Unfortunately the Lakers have lost Nash, Price, Kobe Bryant and Xavier Henry to season-ending injuries. Lin has been inconsistent. Coach Byron Scott had no other choice but to throw Clarkson into the fire and see what he had in his talented rookie.

    Clarkson has not disappointed since being inserted into the starting unit. He started his first game against the San Antonio Spurs in his hometown of San Antonio. He went 5-9 from the floor scoring 11 points and handing out 4 assists in 29 minutes. Seventeen games later he scored a career-high 25 points against the Memphis Grizzlies.

    Clarkson has not disappointed sice being inserted into the starting unit.

    In 18 games as the starting point guard he’s averaged 14.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4 assists. He’s making 43.9-percent of his shots and continues to play very well. The Lakers may have struck gold with this 22-year-old. If he continues to impress, he may be in line to start next season alongside Bryant. I may be jumping the gun a bit, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility.

    He has the mindset to become a capable floor general. In the early going, he’s developing his passing skills. The last five games, he’s averaging 4.8 assists. Perhaps his time working with Nash over the All-Star break is coming to light. His strong drives to the basket makes defenses collapse on him and he instinctively dishes out to the open man.

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    He possesses the size and quickness to be a good defender. He plays the passing lanes effectively. He’s averaging about a steal a game. He loves to put pressure on the defender. He is fearless when he goes against the top point guards in the Western Conference. A very encouraging sign from a young player.

    Can he sustain this level of play? We shall see in the Lakers’ remaining 21 games. They are a miserable 16-42 and are in line to contend for a top-five pick. The maturity of Clarkson paired with a returning Julius Randle and top-five lottery choice will be a nice foundation for the future. Also with loads of cash to bring in more talent, the rebuild may arrive sooner rather than later.