Lakers: Why Jordan Clarkson is smart not to demand out of LA

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Despite the trade rumors, Jordan Clarkson doesn’t seem to want to leave the Lakers right now.

It’s a surprising situation in Los Angeles with the Lakers right now, but Jordan Clarkson is making the right move to not demand a trade and make the front office look foolish. In accepting his role as part of the second unit the last two seasons, Clarkson’s game has come to a place it might not be without that opportunity.

We’ve seen how valuable he can be for this team when Lonzo Ball has an off game, but he can also be a driving force for LA when everyone is doing well. As a report by the IB Times points out, he might be the most underrated player not just in purple and gold, but in all of professional basketball.

Personally, I am no fan of trading Clarkson because I do think you can make the case — at least earlier in the season, we’ll have to see how this part of it goes — that Clarkson should start over Lonzo Ball. That is no disrespect to Ball’s abilities, but to a good chunk of the fan base, his play just wasn’t cutting it.

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There were  plenty of moments where Ball didn’t get good playing time in the fourth quarter because of his performance through the first three. Nonetheless, Clarkson hasn’t assumed the starting role and appears to be just riding this out like everyone else.

The reason that Jordan Clarkson’s lack of a demand for a trade tells us a couple of things about him that are important to know. First, he’s not about all of the drama and hassle from the media that comes with the player being the epicenter of why there’s trade talks.

He’s not the kind of player that seems to want out of his situation, and most of the trade conversation is about how the Lakers can use him as leverage to land another player. It also shows us that perhaps he’s really in this young core thing they’ve got going for the long haul.

Not only has he excelled in their second unit as their point guard there, but he got a whole new contract based on his play that extends through the 2019-2020 season and will pay him $50 million.

Clarkson has shown the team that he’s worth that kind of money and they were right to offer it to him as a way to keep him in Los Angeles and not leave for another team where he might have a more prominent role.

In an case, the Lakers wouldn’t be making the right move in trading a developed point guard like Clarkson unless their return for it was something they just couldn’t pass up. But it would need to also help them win immediately and be, at the very least, a threat in the Western Conference as a lower seeded playoff team.

But they might already be that as it is. And Clarkson knows he can be an x-factor for them if they make the post-season, and that’s the main reason why he’s not talking about any trade scenario at the moment.

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And it’s the right move.