Lakers Nation Debate: Projecting Jordan Clarkson’s Season
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Topic: We wonder what are reasonable statistical averages for rookie point guard Jordan Clarkson for the rest of the season.

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Context: During the 2014 NBA Draft, most focused on the Los Angeles Lakers’ first-round pick, power forward Julius Randle. One of the best players in college basketball last season, Randle came into this season with high expectations. Unfortunately, a broken fibula in the season opener ended his rookie year prematurely.

That left the Lakers with one other draft pick, combo guard Jordan Clarkson from Missouri. Clarkson was drafted 46th overall by the Washington Wizards and the Lakers traded for him on draft night to give the back court a boost of athleticism.

Clarkson showed potential during the summer, but minutes have been hard to come by for the rookie as he tended to only see the floor when others were hurt, or the game was well out of hand. That changed in Friday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.

Returning to his hometown, Clarkson made his first career start in the NBA and didn’t disappoint. Clarkson totaled 11 points, three rebounds and four assists with only one turnover — a very solid performance for a rookie in his first start.

The Lakers don’t have very many young players with potential, so Clarkson’s showing gave Lakers fans hope. With the Lakers basically out of playoff contention and Kobe Bryant possibly gone for the year, Byron Scott may choose to go with youth and see what guys like Clarkson can do in extended minutes.

Expectations for rookies must be kept in check, but it is still worth wondering what exactly would be considered a good year for Clarkson.

Verdict: We went to Twitter to ask our followers what they believe are reasonable statistical averages for Jordan Clarkson for the remainder of the season. These are some of the responses:

Lakers Nation has spoken with many believing that averages in the 10-12 point, 3-5 rebound, and 4-6 assist range to be adequate. Personally, I think it might be a little bit too high considering Clarkson is still a rookie. If he can be at the low-end of those ranges, it would be a good rookie year.

Point guard is the most difficult position to learn, and Clarkson isn’t quite a pure point guard. With him still learning the nuances of the position and figuring out how to get all of his teammates involved consistently, there will likely be numerous struggles along the way. Clarkson’s outstanding speed and athleticism should help in some cases, but it won’t be able to make up for everything.

Overall, I think around nine points, four rebounds and four assists would be an excellent line for Clarkson. Most important, however, will be Clarkson’s turnovers. If he can keep his turnovers under three, that would be ideal and a good sign that Clarkson could indeed be the Lakers’ point guard of the future.


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