Rookie point guard Jordan Clarkson received quite an honor on Monday with the soon-to-be 23-year-old being named to the All-NBA Rookie First Team. Clarkson joined the likes of Andrew Wiggins, Nerlens Noel, Elfrid Payton, and Nikola Mirotic as this season’s best rookies as voted by the media.
After an impressive rookie campaign, Clarkson being named among the league’s best rookies isn’t all that surprising. The Missouri product continued to improve with every passing game for the Los Angeles Lakers after head coach Byron Scott made him a starter. Clarkson quickly became one of the team’s best all-around players and established himself as a star in the making.
Following the announcement of his All-NBA Rookie First Team selection, Clarkson spoke with ESPN’s Baxter Holmes about the accomplishment. The up-and-comer remained humble, but also let it be known he’s not satisfied:
“I’ve got to come back again next year and put a whole year together,” he said. “I still have a lot to prove. I’ve got to keep working. I’m not satisfied. I’m still grinding and working hard just like everybody else.”
The future remains uncertain for Clarkson in terms of the kind of role he’ll have on the team next season. The Lakers will get more of clearer picture of what the future holds on Tuesday during the NBA Draft lottery. Los Angeles has an 82.3 percent chance of keeping their lottery pick which bodes well for the rebuilding process, but it also might mean the Lakers will be closer to bring in another promising young point guard.
Emmanuel Mudiay and D’Angelo Russell are considered to be arguably the two best point guards in the draft. Depending on the Lakers’ draft position, the team may have an opportunity to draft one of these two talented point guards who are expected to both be selected within the top-five on June 25.
Regardless of the team’s intentions in the draft, or in free agency for that matter, Clarkson has proven he can play on the NBA level. The sky is the limit for the former second-round draft pick with the Lakers getting the steal of last year’s draft and a player with bright future ahead.