The NBA rumor mill is one that never stops spinning, and one name that has come up quite a bit lately is Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson. The Lakers were expected to make a major push to trade for Indiana Pacers star Paul George, and Clarkson was thought to be one of the pieces that Los Angeles would be willing to part with.
While George was ultimately shipped out to the Oklahoma City Thunder, that didn’t stop the speculation that Clarkson could indeed be moved at some point. Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka already traded D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets, and there could be more moves coming. To his credit, Clarkson brushed off the trade rumors, via Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times:
“That [stuff] will happen,” Clarkson said. “Internet [stuff], people want to get clicks on their page and all kinds of stuff. It is what it is. It’s part of the business. I love L.A. I’m staying here. Gotta put on this year.”
Having played three seasons in the NBA already, Clarkson understands that rumors are just part of the professional basketball world and that he can’t dwell on them. He also mentioned putting in extra work to prepare for the upcoming season:
“Just more time I’m putting in,” Clarkson said. “Taking it real serious this year. Spending a lot of time with our new strength guys as well, Gunnar [Peterson, the Lakers new strength coach]. … Going to Gunnar’s gym.”
The new-look Lakers appear to be building around Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, which naturally leads to questions about the long-term future of the team’s other young players like Clarkson and Julius Randle. These rumors can be distracting, but it’s going to be important that Clarkson continues to develop his game regardless.
After all, the Lakers are going to need a big season from him if they want to snap their four-year streak of missing the playoffs.