With nine games remaining in the 2014-15 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers have been evaluating their roster. While the franchise is headed to the NBA lottery for the second consecutive season, last year’s second rounder Jordan Clarkson has been a bright spot.
Since starting, Clarkson is averaging 14.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 31.0 minutes. With his strong play this season, head coach Byron Scott believes his rookie ‘has a chance’ to become an NBA All-Star according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
Clarkson plans to play on the Lakers’ Summer League team in hopes of fine-tuning his scoring and accelerating his learning curve as a playmaker. The Lakers have a team option on Clarkson for the 2015-16 season, though it seems inevitable he will return because of his potential and relatively inexpensive $845,059 salary. That all prompted Lakers coach Byron Scott to predict Clarkson “has a chance” to become an NBA All-Star.
Scott went into more detail on how Clarkson can become an All-Star, via Medina:
“The more he gains experience, he will learn the pace of the game, how to slow it down and use his speed when he has to do so,” Scott said. “His ceiling is pretty high.”
At last year’s draft, all the attention was on Julius Randle, who was selected with the seventh overall pick. However, the team also acquired Clarkson from the Washington Wizards, who selected him with the 46th overall pick.
With Steve Nash mentoring Clarkson, the rookie has made significant improvements in his first season. While the Lakers face their most important off-season in franchise history, they have a prospect in Clarkson that will help the rebuilding process.