As the 2014-15 NBA season nears its end, most of the focus on the Los Angeles Lakers has gone towards the team’s draft pick which goes to the Philadelphia 76ers if the Lakers don’t land in the top-five. As of right now, the Lakers have the fourth-worst record in the league giving them an 83 percent chance of retaining the pick.
The Lakers are inching closer towards moving up in the standings, putting their pick in more danger and forcing many fans to urge the Lakers to ‘tank’ in hopes of securing the top-five pick. Rookie point guard Jordan Clarkson has heard the fans talking, but in an interview with AM 570 LA Sports, said he is just competing:
You hear that stuff all the time. I am just out there competing”
Clarkson’s mindset isn’t surprising. Organizations and front offices may prefer to be a bad team in order to maintain the best chance to get a top pick, but players go out on the court and play their hardest every night.
Coincidentally, it has been Clarkson’s recent play that has put the pick in more danger. Over the last 10 games, Clarkson is averaging 17 points, six assists, and nearly six rebounds. He is also directly responsible for the Lakers last two wins, making game-winning free throws against Minnesota and the game-winning layup against Philadelphia.
Clarkson, like the rest of the Lakers, has continued to play hard every night despite the season being essentially over. The Lakers have been surprisingly competitive since the All-Star Break and Clarkson looks like a real piece of the Lakers future. Losing the pick would be a massive loss for the Lakers, but Clarkson isn’t concerned with it.[divide]
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