The last unsigned player on the roster for the Los Angeles Lakers has officially inked a deal with the team. Missouri product Jordan Clarkson signed his rookie contract with the team, according to a press release from the Lakers via Lakers Nation on August 25.
"The Los Angeles Lakers have signed Jordan Clarkson, the 46th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, whose rights were acquired from the Washington Wizards on draft night, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak."
After one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history, the Lakers were able to head into the offseason on a positive note with the prospect of drafting one of the best players in college basketball in June.
Fortunately, the Lakers were able to land the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, and ended up with a player many consider to be one of the best all-around prospects. Los Angeles selected Julius Randle out of Kentucky with their lottery pick, but weren’t done there.
The Lakers brass was determined to acquire another player in the draft to help with the rebuilding process after the 27-win season. Although it was uncertain if the team would be able to land another pick, the team lucked out in the end.
Not only were the Lakers able to land another draft pick by purchasing the 46th overall pick from the Washington Wizards, but they may have gotten their hands on one of the biggest steals of the draft. Clarkson may not be a big-name like Marcus Smart, Tyler Ennis or Dante Exum, but most believe he’ll prove to be a force for the Lakers sooner rather than later.
At 6’5”, Clarkson has the ability to play both positions in the backcourt. New head coach Byron Scott intends to use Clarkson as a combo guard next season and beyond.
With so many questions surrounding Steve Nash’s immediate future due to health concerns, Clarkson could see considerable minutes under Scott next season. Newcomer Jeremy Lin appears to be the favorite for the starting point guard next season with Nash as his backup.
If Nash is unable to stay healthy, Clarkson could become Lin’s backup. As of right now, the shooting guard position is fairly stacked with Kobe Bryant as the starter and Nick Young seemingly slated to back him up. Xavier Henry could also play at the two spot, but Clarkson may get some time there as well.