The new Los Angeles Lakers regime, led by Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, are determined to shake things up this summer in order to get the team back on the right track. Along with potentially bringing in Lonzo Ball out of UCLA with the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft, the Lakers may also be seriously considering trades with Jordan Clarkson potentially being the player that is moved.
According to Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders, the Lakers brass is open to the possibility of trading Clarkson with the consensus being that they’ll be bringing in another backcourt starter in Ball:
I’ve been told by someone in the know that the Lakers are “increasingly open-minded” about trading Jordan Clarkson and to not be surprised for him to end up being moved as soon as draft night. That’s conjecture at this point, as the Lakers need not rush to clear what may appear to be a logjam in the making.
At this point, rumors will be swirling all summer long that have the Lakers said to be considering a number of different moves. Magic recently stated that Brandon Ingram is the only player on the team’s current roster that the franchise believes is untouchable.
With all the speculation about Paul George and his desire to play for the Lakers, it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that the team tries to complete a trade with the Indiana Pacers this summer rather than wait for Georfe to become a free agent next year. The waiting game for free agents hasn’t helped the team in the past and it may not once again if George has a change of heart after another season with the Pacers.
If a deal is made for George or another star player like Jimmy Butler, Clarkson’s contract may need to be included to match salaries. The Missouri product signed a four-year, $50 million deal with the Lakers last summer, which in some sense was thought to secure his long-term future with the franchise.
Clarkson has been one of the most consistent players on the team since he was drafted by the Lakers in 2014. He presumably will be an attractive trade chip if talks do indeed take place during the offseason for Los Angeles.