Lakers Debate: Better Young Backcourt, Lakers or Minnesota Timberwolves?

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Shooting Guard: Jordan Clarkson vs. Zach LaVine

Although the two team’s employ very different point guards, their shooting guards are strikingly similar. Zach Lavine and Jordan Clarkson are extremely athletic, score first combo-guards, both of who are heading into their junior campaigns.

The numbers here are fairly similar as well, with both players having slight edges in certain areas. Clarkson for example, has scored more per game than LaVine, while the latter has been slightly more efficient. Both players struggle to leverage their athleticism on the defensive end, and while Clarkson is the more effective finisher, LaVine has had a bit more success shooting from outside.

LaVine is a few years younger than the Lakers shooting guard, which gives him a slight edge in a head to head comparison. However, considering Clarkson’s elite work ethic and the resilience he showed in overcoming his draft position, it’s difficult to determine which of them truly has the most upside. Clarkson has also spent more time as a starter, which means he has competed against top-level talent more than LaVine has at this point.

This position is extremely tough to call either way. Clarkson and LaVine are two players with very similar strengths and weaknesses, which makes it very difficult to find a clear advantage anywhere. While as a Laker fan I’d pick Jordan Clarkson over LaVine because of his intangibles and work ethic, LaVine’s age ultimately gives him the edge here.

Winner: Timberwolves (Barely)

Next: What Carl Landry Could Bring to the Lakers

Make sure to check back in later this week as we’ll be breaking down the battle of the front courts and reserves as well.