Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lakers 2014-2015: Diamond in the Rough

   With the 46th pick in the second-round of the NBA draft, the Washington Wizards selected Mizzou point-guard Jordan Clarkson. Later trading him to the Los Angeles Lakers for cash considerations.

Jordan Clarkson (via NBA.com)
The 6-4 red-shirting junior was a highly lauded prospect, that so luckily (for the Lakers) went unnoticed in the draft. Mitch Kupchak and his staff knew they had a steal in their hands, claiming that Clarkson had first-round value.
"His development was slow in summer league and training camp," said the Laker's GM. "But to Jordan's credit from day one he embraced the opportunity and got better, and better as the season progressed"(Lakers.)
As the New Year began it became clear what the Lakers' season was going to look like. With many players sidelined and really no other substitute, Byron Scott finally started playing Clarkson more routinely. JC was playing on and off with the Lakers' D-League partners; the D-Fenders, and was consistently dominating the opposition. Putting up efficient numbers, averaging 23 points and 8 assists while shooting 50% from the field (D-League.) As soon as he bursted onto the scene in the NBA, he showed no fear and quickly became a fan favorite among Angelino's. His scoring abilities were what really shined bright in the Purple and Gold, and as the season progressed he became a better playmaker in the process. In 59 games, Jordan Clarkson averaged 12 points and about 4 assists under limited minutes. After proving his worth, his minutes were bumped up and now his latest career highs are 30 points and 11 assists (NBA.)

It's no secret that Clarkson has a bright future ahead of him. When asked what he plans to do this offseason he does not know where to begin.
"Everything," said Jordan, "One big thing I want to work on is my leadership and also my body, adding more muscle"(Lakers.)
Kobe Bryant and Jordan Clarkson (via OCRegister)
At a fairly young age, the traits of an all star in-the-making are clearly visible. JC has the grit and ambition to surpass many peoples' expectations, again. This summer he is said to spend hours with veterans, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant. Not bad company for a 22-year-old.

Jordan Clarkson's contract ends in 2016 and one is inclined to believe that the Lakers will want to hold on to him for dear life. He has the potential to be a franchise corner-stone and with a couple of solid pieces around him, the revival of Los Angeles Laker basketball would be imminent. Last summer, Clarkson knew he'd have a chip on his shoulder when he was drafted in the second round. This summer, the only chip on his mind will be a golden one.

Jordan Clarkson 2014-2015 Highlights (via: NBALakersNation)