Many new faces have already been added by the Los Angeles Lakers this off-season such as, Carlos Boozer, Jeremy Lin, and of course Julius Randle who are all oozing with potential as they prepare for their first season as a member of the purple and gold.
However, some of the new faces aren’t really receiving the amount of attention they deserve, and particularly this guy is the 46th second round pick—Jordan Clarkson.
After drafting Randle as the seventh overall pick this year, no one expected the Lakers to draft another player again since that was their only official pick in the draft itself. But we were proven wrong as we’ll be seeing Clarkson’s face into the next season. It’ll be interesting to see how he’ll perform for the team while we find out why Mitch Kuptchak took a chance on this kid.
Clarkson, 22, averaged impressive numbers in his 35 games with Missouri—tallying 17.5 points 3.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. For his size and height (6-foot-5) that is used to playing the point, he’ll definitely have an advantage against the smaller ones. His ability to distribute the ball and attack the basket efficiently will be key factors for the Lakers’ success. Though, he still needs to improve on his defense, which can be quickly remedied with a little bit more of practice and dedication. Moreover, the possibility of injuries is inevitable and having a back-up like him will hopefully be a good relief, as the aging Steve Nash may continue to be unavailable for back-to-back games and Jeremy Lin may have to take on a bigger role eventually, which will also leave a few more but crucial minutes for Clarkson in some games.
In this year’s NBA Summer league, Clarkson was able to turn a lot of heads around by leading the Lakers in scoring with 15.8 points per game and notably had an impressive game-winning tip-in against the Golden State Warriors. Looking at this superb performance, it seems like the Lakers did the right move with his acquisition. Plus with the departure of point guard Kendall Marshall, he’ll have no choice but to try to fill the void in his very first season in the league.
More pressure will start to direct towards him as the season continues to get closer and closer and surely, there’ll be several people, including Laker fans all over the world who’ll not be really expecting much him—which is the perfect opportunity for Clarkson to prove everybody wrong.
And if he does exceed our expectations, it won’t be long till we see the Lakers back in the Promised Land once again.