For the Los Angeles Lakers, things have never quite been the same since their 2010 championship run. Rather than competing for titles, they find themselves competing for top picks in the draft lottery. For the Lakeshow, there's only one thing that can really turn this thing around: the young guys. With a plethora of young talent on the roster, the team looks destined to put an end to these losing seasons.
Despite how important the young prospects are, however, a source close to the Lakers front office says that one young guy in particular could be on the way out.
D'Angelo Russell, the high scoring point guard who see's the offense 5 seconds before anyone else does. Julius Randle, the strong, post scoring, mid-range shooting big who can grab rebounds like there's no tomorrow. Brandon Ingram, the long offensive minded KD clone, who is set for a breakout season. These three are the future, the hope, and are virtually un-tradable.
Then, of course, there's Jordan Clarkson. Despite being one of the best scorers on the team and providing a crazy spark off the bench, reports seem to indicate that the Lakers are not only open to trading him, but are actively shopping him to different teams around the league.
With the 2017 Draft coming up, and the Lakers likely to draft a guard, there may be no room for Clarkson to flourish. The fact that the Lakers are looking to trade Clarkson now also suggests that he's already reached peak value. JC may never be worth more than he is now, and the Lakers are obviously hoping to take advantage of that. Currently on a 4 year, $50 million contract with L.A., and averaging 14.7 points off the bench, this young stud would muster more than a few offers.
Chicago, Philadelphia, Oklahoma City, or even New York could all be great fits for Clarkson. As we enjoy the NBA Finals and await the 2017 NBA Draft, it seems that changes are already underway for a Lakers team looking to get back on top.
Is trading Jordan Clarkson the next step towards relevancy? For the right offer, the Lakers absolutely intend to find out.