At the 2014 NBA Draft, the Washington Wizards selected Jordan Clarkson with the 46th overall pick and traded him to the Los Angeles Lakers. After not playing for the first half of his rookie season, Clarkson became a starter and earned All-Rookie First Team honors.
In his second season, Clarkson has been the team’s most consistent player and is averaging 15.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 50 appearances for Los Angeles. While Clarkson will be joining Kobe Bryant and D’Angelo Russell at All-Star Weekend, he will become a restricted free agent this off-season.
With the Lakers continuing their four-game road trip against the San Antonio Spurs, Clarkson addressed his upcoming free agency with Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
“I definitely want to be here in L.A. and be a part of this young group and grow,” Clarkson said. “Hopefully we can grow into something great. I love L.A.”
With Clarkson becoming a restricted free agent, the Lakers will be able to match any offers for him. As a result, the expectation is Clarkson will continue to be part of the young core which includes D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr.
With 30 games left in the season, the top priority for the franchise should be player development. As Los Angeles will miss the playoffs for the third consecutive season, they will lose this year’s pick to the Phiadelphia 76ers if it does not land in the top-three as a result of the Steve Nash trade in 2012.