The Lakers are most likely going to end up drafting Lonzo Ball with the #2 overall pick when their time on the clock is up. This would potentially end the “backcourt of the future” pairing for Russell-Clarkson that was suppose to last for years to come. If Lonzo Ball and D’Angelo Russell will be the backcourt of the future now, it appears as if Clarkson will be relegated to his likely projection of a 6th man off the bench that can provide some sort of scoring punch.
Being relegated to a bench piece does make him expendable as Moke Hamilton from Basketball Insiders reports in his notebook:
“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.”
Clarkson is on a decent contract for a 6th man, and his potential to grow could entice a team to bite on a trade come draft time. He should be able to net a decent return, or he could be a piece attached to a trade in order to dump the contract of Deng or Mozgov.
It would be sad to see Clarkson move away from the Lakers young core, but his future with the Lakers appears to be up in the air after he failed to truly improve after having a really good rookie year and a solid sophmore year. This coming season will be year 4 and he will be turning 25 in a few days. Unfortunately, a significant improvement is very unlikely.
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