The Los Angeles Lakers potentially struck gold in the 2014 NBA draft selecting forward Julius Randle out of Kentucky with the seventh overall pick. Although Randle will get a lot of headlines this season with the franchise expecting big things from the versatile forward, the team was able to land another promising young talent in the draft with Jordan Clarkson.
Along with making an impression during the Summer League back in July, Clarkson has caught the attention of Kobe Bryant in the first few days in practice. Kobe has been impressed with Clarkson and can’t believe the Lakers were able to get him this summer, via Mike Trudell of Lakers.com:
Asked who's impressed him in camp, Kobe mentioned rookie Jordan Clarkson, saying how surprised he is that Clarkson fell to LAL in the draft.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 2, 2014
Kobe on Jordan Clarkson: "I think that was a steal of a pick." "Great pace, great feel for the game…Can shoot the deep ball"
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 2, 2014
With concern surrounding the health of Steve Nash throughout an entire 82-game season, Clarkson could get thrust into the rotation sooner rather than later. Jeremy Lin will backup Nash if the two-time NBA MVP gets the nod as the starter, but Clarkson may become an option for head coach Byron Scott if he keeps up his impressive play.
Veteran Ronnie Price has also been complimented by Kobe and Scott making things interesting with the preseason getting underway next week. If Price makes the final roster, the veteran could share time with Lin and Nash while Clarkson hopes for minutes at shooting guard.
Lakers Practice Footage: 5-On-5 Scrimmage, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Nick Young Trash-Talkin