While the Los Angeles Lakers have a glamorous history, they haven’t been an easy franchise to play for over the past few years, something guard Jordan Clarkson can attest to.
The Lakers got a steal when they bought the 46th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft from the Washington Wizards and used it to select Clarkson out of Missouri. He quickly made a name for himself when the team handed him the reigns in January of his rookie year, making him the starting point guard, which ultimately allowed him to be named to All-Rookie First Team.
However, while Clarkson has certainly outperformed his draft position, the team has struggled to find a way to win. They have missed the playoffs for four straight seasons now, and Clarkson admitted to Adam Zuvanich of the San Antonio Express News that all of the losing has not been easy for him to endure:
“It’s been a tough three years. We’ve been losing a lot,” Jordan said. “We’ve been trying to get out of that.”
Fortunately, the Lakers do appear to be back on the right track. While they aren’t expected to be back in the playoffs next season, the arrival of rookies Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Thomas Bryant has, on paper, improved them, as have veterans Brook Lopez and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
It also has to be mentioned that the team has painstakingly created cap space for next summer when they hope to sign two max-level free agents. With names like LeBron James, Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, and Russell Westbrook possibly on the market, the Lakers could conceivably become very good very quickly.
Unfortunately for Clarkson, in order to be able to fit in two max free agents, they may have to free up space by trading him elsewhere. Regardless of whether he sticks with the Lakers or not, expect Clarkson to continue to work hard to help his team win games.