Jordan Clarkson signed a four-year, $50 million contract to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers this summer. However, the combo guard’s future in L.A. could be short lived.
According to several sources, the Lakers view Clarkson as the No.1 trading chip before February’s trade deadline when teams begin to aggressively shop players.
The likes of DeMarcus Cousins and Paul Millsap could become available via trade if the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks begin the season on a poor note.
In such a scenario, the Lakers, led by new coach Luke Walton, want to emerge as aggressive suitors.
Jordan Clarkson, the sacrificial lamb?
The Lakers front office still views Clarkson as an integral member of the team but realize that he’s the only tradeable asset because of his cap-friendly contract and lower upside when compared to the other youngsters.
Even though D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle aren’t guaranteed to become all-stars, the Lakers feel the trio has more long term potential than Clarkson.
Remember, the Lakers cannot move Clarkson until Dec. 14 when trade exceptions expire on newly signed contracts.
Earlier this month, CBS Sports reporter Zach Harper reported of a potential trade involving Clarkson and Jahlil Okafor, who has been actively shopped all summer.
“The only way you start getting proper value back in return (for Okafor) is getting Jordan Clarkson in the deal (with the Los Angeles Lakers). The Lakers just re-signed him to a four-year, $50 million and he can’t be traded until December 14, but that would have to be the starting point.
“Then maybe the Lakers part with Julius Randle, Lou Williams and a protected first-round pick. That would probably be enough value for the Sixers to feel good about letting Okafor go.”
Even though Harper speculated that Randle would be a part of the potential trade, it’s more likely that Lakers retain the former Kentucky standout.
Since the Sixers are still searching their point guard of the future, trading for Jordan Clarkson would make a lot of sense for Brett Brown & Co.