No surprise here, but the Lakers will keep Jordan Clarkson and allow his contract to become guaranteed for a year, a team spokesman confirmed to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times. Contractually, the Lakers had the option of waiving Clarkson on or by August 1st (Saturday) without penalty before his deal was locked in. Because Clarkson played with the Lakers’ summer league team, the guarantee date of his contract moved up from around Halloween to the first day of August, Pincus explains.
Clarkson became the team’s primary point guard for most of the second half last season. In that time, the guard averaged 15.8 PPG, five APG, and 4.2 RPG, earning a spot on the NBA’s all-rookie first team. Pincus notes that this season, Clarkson may slide over to the two next to rookie D’Angelo Russell, with veteran Kobe Bryant moving to the three, though Byron Scott recently said his rotation will be determined in training camp.
Back in May, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak opined that Clarkson compares similarly in terms of athleticism and style of play to Russell Westbrook.
“If there’s a player in the league that plays like him, it’s Russell Westbrook,” Kupchak said. “Now, I’m not saying for a second that Jordan Clarkson is the next Russell Westbrook, but he’s that kind of a ball-handling guard.”