The Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets have expressed interest in signing under-the-radar free agent Jordan Clarkson this offseason, recent Lakers rumors revealed. Both will send feelers to know if the former Missouri Tiger will change his mind about staying in Los Angeles.
Due to his status as a second-round pick, Clarkson has been on a very modest contract with the Lakers this past two seasons. That’s about to change in free agency, as his stellar performance has significantly boosted his value.
Clarkson is expected to command a hefty salary increase this summer, but it’s not a forgone conclusion that it would be the Lakers who will be picking up the tab. Lakers rumors suggested that the team could hesitate to keep the two-year veteran if a team offers a hefty contract.
According to The Sixer Sense, the 76ers plan to acquire Clarkson so he could be one of the final pieces in the team’s bid for NBA relevancy. His ability to play the point and play off the ball makes him the perfect complementary point guard alongside prized rookie Ben Simmons, the 2016 first overall pick.
The Brooklyn Nets also hope to snatch Clarkson from the Lakers. The team has around $45 million to spend in free agency and is looking for its next franchise player, preferably a guard or a wing.
Nothin’ But Nets indicated that if the team fails to recruit the likes of Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan or Mike Conley, Nets general manager Sean Marks and company may choose a different route and pursue Clarkson instead.
If Clarkson signs with another team and the Lakers decide to match the offer, the promising guard will stay in Los Angeles. As a restricted free agent, the former second-round pick can sign an offer sheet from another team but the Lakers will only need to match the contract to keep him.
In an interview with NBC LA, Clarkson said he considers Los Angeles as his home. He would definitely want to stay and continue to be a cornerstone in the team’s future. He also told ESPN that he can’t wait to play for new Lakers head coach Luke Walton.
“It really impacts it a lot,” Clarkson said about how the hiring would affect him and his teammates. “That style of play fits me, as well as the other guys. I definitely want to stay here in L.A. and be here. I said in my exit interview, I don’t want to be that guy who bounces around from team to team.”
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