The Los Angeles Lakers were mentioned in a number of rumors leading up to Thursday’s trade deadline. Ultimately they only made two deals, moving Lou Williams and Marcelo Huertas and bringing back Corey Brewer and Tyler Ennis as well as a first-round draft pick.
That doesn’t mean there weren’t calls made about other players and apparently a popular one for other teams was third-year guard Jordan Clarkson.
Spectrum Sports’ Mike Bresnahan spoke before the Lakers’ Friday game against the Oklahoma City Thunder and noted that Clarkson was brought up in nearly every call the Lakers took leading up to the deadline.
“Leading up to yesterday’s trade deadline, almost every time the Lakers fielded a phone call, they were asked about Jordan Clarkson and his availability. Maybe teams are kind of prodding the Lakers to see if he’s a little bit undervalued. Nope, they definitely want to hang on to him.”
Clarkson’s play has leveled off somewhat after an impressive rookie season that saw him make All-Rookie First Team. The Lakers rewarded Clarkson this offseason with a four-year $50 million contract. Clarkson has been relatively inconsistent this season, however.
Offensively Clarkson has proven to be extremely effective. Even though his scoring is down from a year ago to 13.7 points per game, he has raised his shooting percentage to 44.9. Defensively, even Clarkson would admit he still has room to grow, but both Luke Walton and Magic Johnson believe he has tons of potential on that end as well.
The Lakers made it clear that they were not looking to move any of their young players. This final stretch of the season will be used to evaluate the talent on their roster and figure out who is worth keeping around for the future. Clarkson is definitely one of the players the Lakers have high hopes for.