Jordan Clarkson had an outstanding rookie season with the Los Angeles Lakers that led to being named to the All-Rookie First Team at the end of the season. There were questions, however, about whether Clarkson could build on that season as many rookies shine as high usage players on bad teams.
Clarkson, however, is determined to prove that last season was no fluke and has been hard at work all off-season. In addition to adding around 15 pounds of muscle, Clarkson has focused especially on three things that he wants to improve most according to Mark Medina of the Los ANgeles Daily News:
To improve his outside shooting, Clarkson altered his balance by jumping straight up and tweaked his release point by raising his right elbow. To improve his pick-and-roll execution, Clarkson has dropped his hips and relaxed his chest so that he can move at a more methodical and efficient pace. To improve his finishing at the rim, Clarkson has varied his attempts with both hands.
Clarkson will likely be teaming with D’Angelo Russell to form the Lakers backcourt of the future, and Russell also spoke about how Clarkson has helped him thus far in his young career:
He’s growing and getting better every day,” Russell said. “It’s amazing for me to see him and witness it. He’s vocally incredible with it. I ask him a question and he has a perfect answer.”
Clarkson was the most consistent player on the Lakers Summer League team that went disappointing 1-4. He has averaged 18 points in those four games and has quite simply looked a level above most anyone else on the court.
The Lakers have an excellent young core, but at times Clarkson seems to be lost behind the excitement of Russell and Julius Randle. Clarkson is willing to put in the work to be the best he can possibly be and if reaches that potential, he will be big part of the future of the franchise.