The Los Angeles Lakers made a major move ahead of this year’s NBA trade deadline, dealing Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cleveland Cavaliers. While the trade brought the Lakers Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, a first-round pick and plenty of salary cap flexibility, it was bittersweet to see two fan-favorites dealt away.
The move made it clear who the Lakers consider as their core players: Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Kyle Kuzma, all of whom bring something different to the table. The development of that trio, along with Julius Randle should he remain with the team in free agency, and Josh Hart, will be crucial to the future of the franchise.
After he was traded to the Cavaliers, Clarkson made an appearance on Afternoons on ESPN LA with Marcellus and Farnham, and spoke highly of Ingram, Ball and Kuzma, and what they mean to the Lakers moving forward:
“I think all those young guys over there are going to turn out well for the organization. Zo, I think he’s going to be a great player. Kuz, being the scorer. I think the guy you kind of gotta watch, he’s growing really fast, is my guy Brandon Ingram. I think he’s gonna be a problem in this league with his length and the way he can score the ball.”
It is great to see that Clarkson still has a fondness for his former teammates on his way to Cleveland. It shows just how close this team had become. These guys were like brothers and it is difficult to see them traded away.
The good thing about the trio is that they all bring something different to the table as Clarkson pointed out. Kuzma is a fearless scorer who is never afraid of the situation, Ball is a team-first point guard who makes everyone better, and Ingram is an all-around nightmare who can basically play four positions.
The Lakers are in good hands when it comes to their future and as much as it hurts Clarkson to no longer be a part of that, he definitely sees the positive signs.
Clarkson will get to match up against the same players he praised on March 11, when the Cavaliers visit Staples Center.
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