3 Frontrunners Emerge To Steal Jordan Clarkson From Jazz

3 Frontrunners Emerge To Steal Jordan Clarkson From Jazz

Jordan Clarkson heads into this NBA offseason with an important decision to make.

The 30-year-old has a player option for next year worth $14.26 million with the Utah Jazz. He can either take that, or he can opt out and see what sort of money he can get on the open market.

At the moment, all signs point to him seeing what else is available.

Last month former Jazz assistant coach Gordon Chiesa appeared on ESPN’s ‘The Bill Riley Show’ and suggested that the expectation was Clarkson would opt out.

“They’ll [Jazz] know more roughly on June 28 or so when either Talen Horton-Tucker opts out of his $11 million contract or Jordan Clarkson opts out of his $14.2 million contract … both player options,” Chiesa said.

“I’m going to lean towards those guys opting out because, business-wise, those guys have some street credit.”

Last season Clarkson averaged a career-high 20.8 points per game on 44.4 percent shooting from the field and 33.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc. He also chipped in 4.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists per outing.

At this juncture, there is little mystery about what Clarkson brings to the table.

He is a volume scorer who can provide instant offense and occasionally solid on-the-ball defense. But that’s pretty much it. Even during his Sixth Man of the Year season when he was contributing to a legitimately good Jazz team, that’s all he was.

Throughout the season rumors suggested that Clarkson was looking for something in the $20 million per year range this summer.

In a world where Dillon Brooks is commanding $25 million annually that doesn’t sound as crazy as it probably should, but it’s still hard to see too many teams lining up to steal him from the Jazz.

That said, if anyone does opt to add Clarkson, it will likely be one of three squads.

The first team to keep an eye on is the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite a deep playoff run that ultimately ended in the Western Conference Finals, L.A. often struggled offensively. Clarkson can create his own shot, doesn’t need any help scoring and is never afraid to pull the trigger when he is open.

He is also a better defender than D’Angelo Russell, for whatever that’s worth. And given that four teams are currently trying to steal Russell from Los Angeles anyway, Clarkson could slide in fairly seamlessly.

If not the Lakers, the Miami Heat are another team to watch. They have been linked to Brooks throughout the past few weeks, but if they opt not to go that route, they could use their cap space on Clarkson.

Obviously Caleb Martin and Gabe Vincent have really stepped up as scorers this past season, and Tyler Herro is due to return soon as well, but Clarkson has been a proven and consistent offensive presence for years.

Clarkson could do a lot to alleviate some of the scoring issues Miami faced throughout the regular season before their epic playoff run.

Finally, don’t sleep on the Memphis Grizzlies. With Ja Morant likely out half of next season, at least, the team will need a potent scoring option who can step into his shoes.

Is Clarkson the same caliber talent as Morant? No, obviously not. But can he put up points in a hurry much like the former Murray State standout? Absolutely.

In addition to all that, it also wouldn’t be particularly shocking to see the Jazz try to retain Clarkson. Ownership is said to really like him, and he really made a concerted effort to become more of a passer after Mike Conley got traded.

After the Conley deal, Clarkson went on to average 6.1 assists per game.

Where will Clarkson be playing come the beginning of the next NBA season? One way or the other, an answer will emerge over the next few months.

Related: 3 Frontrunners Emerge To Steal Brook Lopez From Bucks

Jennifer Withers Hoey

Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.
Back to top button