Lakers News: Luke Walton Praises Jordan Clarkson’s Strong Play
Lakers News: Jordan Clarkson ‘confident’ He’ll Remain In Los Angeles
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers selected guard Jordan Clarkson with the 46th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft after purchasing the pick from the Washington Wizards for $1.8 million. The move proved to be fortuitous, as Clarkson has far exceeded expectations during his time in purple and gold and received a contract worth four years and $50 million this summer.

If Clarkson’s current level of play is any indication, he will still be an excellent bargain even with his increased salary. Known for his hard work in the offseason, Clarkson spent the summer working on his defense and his outside shooting, and through two preseason games it’s paying off. Coach Luke Walton was complimentary of Clarkson’s performance following a loss to the Denver Nuggets (via Lakers Nation’s own Ryan Ward):

Surprisingly, Walton has asked Clarkson to come off the bench, swapping places with Lou Williams as the team’s backup shooting guard. Alongside fellow high-energy players like Larry Nance Jr. and Tarik Black, Clarkson has thrived, using his quickness and newfound defensive prowess to force turnovers and attack in transition. Against the Nuggets, Clarkson led the team with four steals, while chipping in 15 points and two assists in just 19 minutes of playing time.

Clarkson credited an aggressive mentality on both ends of the floor for his success:

While it’s not clear whether or not Clarkson will continue to come off the bench or if Walton will toss him back into the starting lineup, the young guard has certainly turned some heads with his play. It’s still early and two preseason games don’t necessarily equate to regular season success, but so far it looks like the Lakers made the right move in re-signing Clarkson this summer.

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