Last season, Jordan Clarkson was arguably the team’s best offensive player for the Los Angeles Lakers. Clarkson bumped up his scoring average from 11.9 points per game during his rookie year to 15.5 during the 2015-16 campaign. Kobe Bryant may have led the team in scoring at 17.6 points per contest, but he was extremely inefficient shooting 35.8 percent from the floor in comparison to Clarkson’s 43.3.
Once Clarkson’s sophomore season with the Lakers came to an end, the former second-round pick was determined to improve his game on both ends of the floor along with securing his long-term future with the team.
Although many have harped on Clarkson’s defensive issues as the number one thing he should work on in the offseason, including head coach Luke Walton, the 24-year-old also put in the work offensively. Clarkson believes he’s grown offensively as he said during training camp this week, according to Mark Medina of the OC Register.
“Offensively, I feel like I’ve grown. But I want to play the right way,” Clarkson said. “I felt last year a lot of times I wasn’t playing the right way and that causes us to take tough shots and our field goal percentage goes down. I’m happy Coach is here preaching moving the ball and getting easy shots. That makes the game a lot easier.”
There’s no doubt Clarkson will have the opportunity to show the progress he’s made on both ends of the floor during the upcoming season. Walton wants the third-year guard to embrace the challenge of becoming a better defender, but will almost certainly also expect him to be a better three-point shooter.
Recently, a video surfaced featuring Clarkson draining threes from near halfcourt during a workout with Pure Sweat trainer Drew Hanlen. Clarkson has clearly extended his range and likely plans to improve his shooting percentage from beyond the arc.
Last season, Clarkson shot 34.7 percent from deep which is an improvement from his rookie season in which he shot 31.4 percent from three-point range.
Clarkson’s development defensively and shooting the threes will be something closely watched by the coaching staff as well as the fans during the preseason and throughout his third year with the team.