18. Jordan Clarkson
The Lakers drafted Clarkson with the 46th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, and he immediately cracked the rotation. The 6’4 guard averaged 11.9 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.2 rebounds in 25.0 minutes per game as a rookie. He moved into a starting role for the next two years as he averaged over 15 points per game in 30.7 minutes each night.
The Lakers struggled throughout Clarkson’s tenure in LA. They won just 64 games in three seasons before he was traded with Larry Nance Jr. to Cleveland at the 2018 deadline for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and one first-round draft pick. It was two quality rotation pieces for two expiring contracts and a first-round selection. When the pick did not work out, The Lakers were left with virtually zero return for Clarkson and Nance Jr.
Clarkson played two seasons in Cleveland before being traded to Utah where he has taken his game to new heights. The 6’4 guard won Sixth Man of the Year in 2021, and he averaged 17.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 26.9 minutes per game during his first two seasons with the Jazz.
The Lakers knew he was a steady scorer that could be in the running for Sixth Man of the Year, but they traded him for cap relief after signing him to a four-year $50 million contract. It was fair market value as the Jazz just gave Clarkson a new four-year $51 million deal in 2020. Los Angeles just let the 6’4 guard get away too soon.