How Much Will Clarkson Cost the Lakers this Summer?


The NBA regular season is almost upon us! A time of hope for almost all NBA franchises and fan bases. However, many fans of the Los Angeles Lakers are using this hope to forecast next summer and the offseason.

While fans dream of the free agents the Lakers could acquire and the trades the front office could pull off, one question must be pondered: how much will Jordan Clarkson cost?

This might come as news to some fans, but Clarkson is a free agent at the end of this season. The Lakers are going to have to open up their wallets to keep this bright young talent in the fold.

Granted, he will be a restricted free agent, so the Lakers will have the opportunity to match any offers he receives, but he could still cost the team a pretty penny. It likely won’t impact LA’s attempts at the big fish, but it should still be something for everyone to keep an eye out on.

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Pinning down the exact value for Clarkson is tricky. He only has one season of NBA experience, and he really only played for half of that. How he plays over the next six months could dramatically change his value in either direction.

The other variable in determining his value is the landscape of NBA free agency. With the salary cap shooting up again, expected to be around $90 million, almost every team will have money to spend. Clarkson will get paid by somebody, the question is how much.

To add to all of this difficultly, is the complicated ruling in the NBA’s CBA. A quick summary of all this, is that Clarkson can earn a maximum of around six million dollars for the next two season’s before jumping up to over $20 million.

The best way to determine Clarkson’s price is by using the contracts comparable players signed. Unfortunately this is also difficult. There has only been one offseason of higher cap contracts and very few second round picks get paid more than the minimum when they resign.

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Focusing on second round picks, the market for Clarkson will be high. Consider that Chandler Parsons is making over $15 million this year, and even that isn’t an accurate representation of his value.

Parsons was signed before the big cap leaps and has a player option for next year. There is already talk of him opting out and getting more money on the market, possibly from the Lakers.

Just a few months ago, Draymond Green resigned with the Golden State Warriors for an average of $16.4 million a year. He might be the closest example to the quick rise of Clarkson, and that’s not a good sign for the Lakers.

Thankfully, Green is widely considered to be a superior player so $16 million can be considered the ceiling for Clarkson. Although, an incredible year from Clarkson could push him close. Young talent doesn’t hit the market often, somebody could be foolish.

There are more recently signed comparable deals in the point guard market. Over the last summer a couple restricted free agent guards got big money to stay with their teams.

Brandon Knight returned to the Phoenix Suns for $14 million a year and the Detroit Pistons will be paying Reggie Jackson an average of $16 million to play. And that’s with the Piston’s already paying Brandon Jennings. This situation could get expensive fast for the Lakers.

Any fans that think these number are crazy need to remember how the Sacramento Kings gave Rajon Rondo $9.5 million dollars this year to fight with George Karl. That was with no other known bidders. This is the reality of the modern NBA.

The bright side is most of these players are arguably better than Clarkson. There is still the possibility Clarkson isn’t as good as he appeared last season. While this would be horrible news for the Lakers youth movement, it could make the contract situation slightly easier.

But even then he won’t come cheap. Rodney Stuckey and Cory Joseph both signed deals to be backup point guards this summer. Those deals cost their teams seven million dollars each.

Jordan Clarkson’s value has an entire season to set itself, but fans need to prepare for a large sum of money to be thrown at him. The low point of his negotiations will likely be the six million dollars a year max the CBA outlines, with the potential for a contract to get as high as $16-17 million in the later years.

What do you think Clarkson will cost the Lakers? Let us know in the comments.

All salary information is courtesy of spotrac.

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