Each and every NBA season is a learning lesson for the players, involving varying scenarios and different experiences. The Los Angeles Lakers learned that the quick way, as Luke Walton, Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell all saw that 10-10 start become a thing of the past.
After the promising start, the middle portion of the season turned into an experimental phase, with Walton working different lineups on the floor to see how they gel together. With that being said, players like Clarkson and Nick Young saw their role fluctuate.
Despite that, Clarkson continually produced for the Lakers whether he was starting or coming off the bench, but now three years into his career some have questioned just how high Clarkson’s ceiling is. In an interview with Mark Medina of the OC Register, Clarkson spoke on using those people as motivation, and set some goals for himself this upcoming season:
“Seeing all that stuff is definitely motivation, to be honest with you,” Clarkson said. “It’s funny because people just talk. It is what it is. It’s part of the game. It’s part of the world now. If I’m going to be a sixth man, I’m going to go for Sixth Man of the Year. If I’m a starter, I’m definitely trying to be a great player either way. If it happens, whatever way it is, I’m going to be great at it.”
The 25-year-old was able to produce consistent results during his third season, even in a reduced role. He posted 14.7 points and an improved 2.6 assists (2.4 last season), while also raising his field goal percentage up to 44.5 percent.
While Clarkson certainly can work on decreasing his 2.0 turnovers per game, this development and maturity will allow him to progress with his decision-making ability. Clarkson is committed to improving his left hand this offseason, while also always working to improve on the defensive end.
Even as his role fluctuates Clarkson remains focused on improving his game and helping the Lakers in any way possible. If he is able to continue to develop, he could very well accomplish those goals he has set out for himself.