The Utah Jazz have surprised a lot of people with their scrappy play thus far in the 2022-23 NBA season, and Jordan Clarkson has been a big reason for that.
Clarkson has provided his squad with a consistent scoring punch on a nightly basis, putting up a career high 20.7 points per game on 45.1 percent shooting from the field and 36 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Between how good he has been playing and how not-bad the Jazz have looked, there have been murmurs that the front office may offer Clarkson a contract extension despite clearly being in the early stages of a rebuild.
Unfortunately, it looks as though a long-term union may not be in the cards for all parties involved.
According to Jazz insider Tim Montemayor, Clarkson wants out of Utah. His initial report suggested that it was simply a matter of getting the 30-year-old’s contract sorted.
According league sources Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson has told the club that if they are unable to agree on an extension he would like to be traded to a playoff contender before the #NBA trade deadline. #TakeNote
— YouTube: The Monty Show —SUBSCRIBE (@TheMontyShow) January 12, 2023
But then he came back with some additional clarification.
Some clarity on Jordan Clarkson: I am now told that Jordan has told the Utah Jazz he will not sign an extension & he would like to be traded before the deadline so he can compete for a championship. Clarkson did not demand a trade, just that he would like to move to a contender
— YouTube: The Monty Show —SUBSCRIBE (@TheMontyShow) January 13, 2023
So if Clarkson’s request gets honored, who is in position to trade for him? Late last year, when it seemed pretty clear that Clarkson would get dealt sooner rather than later, two teams emerged as legit suitors for him.
The first was the Los Angeles Lakers. Clarkson is offense in a bottle, and L.A. desperately needs some of that on the roster.
Although the Lakers are no longer the worst three-point shooting team in the league like they were at the beginning of the season, they’re still 26th. Not great. Clarkson would go a long way in solving that problem to some degree.
Plus, his ties to the city are known from his early days in Los Angeles.
The big question is what the Jazz would demand in return for Clarkson. Obviously the Lakers won’t part with any first-rounders for him, so could a deal be worked despite that? It’s hard to say.
The other team to watch for Clarkson would be the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs desperately need a second offensive option behind Luka Doncic. Christian Wood is good, but Jason Kidd hates him and he may get dealt before the NBA Trade Deadline.
Obviously Dallas is also one of four teams linked to Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine, but it’s hard to see something actually materializing on that front.
Eagles are playing at a championship level on and off the field.https://t.co/vO0bBMux6k
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 13, 2023
This could be the more realistic upgrade for them.
Is Clarkson the all-around offensive player that Jalen Brunson was? No. But is he a more potent scorer? Yes.
The next few weeks promise to be interesting. It is increasingly looking like a foregone conclusion that Clarkson will be traded before the deadline. Where he will ultimately end up remains to be seen.