Jordan Clarkson Could See Immediate Playing Time For Los Angeles Lakers

By Allen Yates
Dak Dillon-USATODAY Sports
Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers traded cash considerations to the Washington Wizards for the 46th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. The Wizards selected Missouri point guard Jordan Clarkson for the Lakers. Clarkson is a 6-foot-5, 186-pound point guard who could play his way onto the Lakers roster.

Many people have not heard of Clarkson, but he could very well become a name Lakers fans will know for some time. The 22-year-old was named Second Team All-SEC by the coaches for his production in his one season as a Missouri Tiger. The junior guard was a transfer from Tulsa, where he was named First Team All-Conference USA in 2011-12 and also received C-USA All-Freshman honors in 2010-11.

The Lakers have only guard Steve Nash listed at the point guard position, but his health is always a question at this point in his career. The Lakers have only three players on the books for next year in Nash, Kobe Bryant and Robert Sacre.

Clarkson is in a great position to not only make the roster but get minutes night in and night out. He is a guard with great size, athleticism, speed and leaping ability. He has a 6-foot-8 wingspan and registered a 38.5-inch vertical leap at the NBA Draft Combine.

Clarkson gets where he wants on the court due to his size. He can create a shot for himself, but does need some work on his jump shot. He averaged 17 points this past season at Missouri. He has all the tools to be a serviceable pro at the next level. His size will allow him to guard most point guards and shooting guards effectively. If Clarkson can manage to improve his jump shot and cut down on turnovers, he could see immediate time for the Lakers.

There is the very real possibility that he does not make the team at all, but the current state of the Lakers is a perfect opportunity for him. Look to see him play alongside Julius Randle in the summer league this year as he attempts to make the roster. The ball is completely in his court.

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