The past couple of seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers has been some of the worst in franchise history. Aside from bad basketball being played at times, there has been constant change surrounding the team.
The previous regime of Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss made some questionable decisions that put the team in difficult circumstances. But one thing the duo got right was acquiring guard Jordan Clarkson on draft night after he was drafted in the second round by the Washington Wizards.
Clarkson has become a solid player since coming out of the University of Missouri, as he earned himself First Team All-Rookie honors in his first season.
Since then he has gradually improved his game, and this past season under first-year head coach Luke Walton he thrived as a sixth man averaging 14.7 points, three rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game.
Although he has become an offensive threat his performance on the defensive end has been a bit underwhelming. Clarkson has been working on his defense during the offseason though, via Mark Medina of the Southern California News Group:
“A lot of it is not just one-on-one defense,” said Clarkson, who cited the team’s need to trust and communicate with each other on rotations. “There’s a lot of team concepts I have to pick up on and really put my mind to this year so I can help the team the best way I can.”
If he can improve his defense Clarkson can develop into one of the better two-way players in the league. The Lakers will benefit greatly by Clarkson becoming a well-rounded player because as a team they have been one the worst in the league on the defensive side of the ball the past few seasons.
The good thing for the Lakers is they have added players who can be two-way threats. The additions of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brook Lopez and Kyle Kuzma should pay dividends on the defensive end of the floor.