The Los Angeles Lakers got a diamond in the rough during the 2014 NBA Draft last year after informing the Washington Wizards to select guard Jordan Clarkson out of Missouri following the purchase the 46th pick. Clarkson didn’t get a lot of time on the floor early on in the 2014-15 NBA campaign, but it didn’t take long for him to make an impression.
Ultimately, after being named a starter in the backcourt by head coach Byron Scott, Clarkson came into his own as arguably the best player on the squad following Kobe Bryant’s season-ending shoulder injury.
As a result of Clarkson’s impressive first season in Los Angeles, the up-and-comer earned All-Rookie First Team honors. Although Clarkson was dubbed one of the top-five rookies in the league last year, the Lakers guard intends on playing in the NBA Summer League in July simply to improve his game, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:
Jordan Clarkson told me he'll play on Lakers summer-league team even though he was All-Rookie last season. Why? Just wants to get better.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) June 29, 2015
In 59 games for the Lakers last season, Clarkson averaged 11.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. The rookie guard also shot well from the floor with a field-goal percentage of 44.8 and 31.4 from beyond the arc.
Clarkson’s averages for the entire season may not be astonishing or worthy of All-Rookie First Team, it was his play as a starter that really turned a lot of heads. Clarkson put the team on his back once officially named the starter, posting some impressive numbers over the course of 38 games.
During his time as a starter, Clarkson averaged 15.8 points, 5.0 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. Clarkson’s shooting field-goal percentage also received a slight boost going from 44.8 for the season to 45.8 as a starter.
Despite an impressive start to his NBA career, one thing that seems to set Clarkson apart from other rookies in the past is his desire to improve. The 23-year-old is determined to get better in all aspects of his game and will be looking to superstar teammate Kobe Bryant to help him make the next step over the summer.[divide]