Northwest Notes: Clarkson, Mudiay, Beasley, Dort

Earlier this season, the Jazz traded former first-round pick point guard Dante Exum and a pair of second-round picks to the Cavaliers in exchange for guard Jordan Clarkson.

While Clarkson was already a proven commodity as a veteran scoring option off the bench, he has also been labeled as a “ball stopper” or a subpar defender by critics in the past, writes Ben Dowsett of Basketball Insiders. In Utah though, the combo guard has done a good job immersing himself into the Jazz’s culture, working hard to fit into the team’s system on both ends of the court, as Dowsett details.

In 31 games this season with the Jazz, Clarkson is averaging 15.8 PPG, while shooting 48.3% from the field and 38.2% from three-point range.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Staying with the Jazz, backup point guard Emmanuel Mudiay is happy in Utah and feels like his game has gone to another level, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. The former first-round pick returned to Madison Square Garden this week after the Knicks decided not to re-sign him last offseason.
  • It looks like the Timberwolves might’ve found a gem in Malik Beasleysuggests Michael Rand of the Star Tribune. Minnesota acquired Beasley from the Nuggets just days before the trade deadline in a massive four-team trade. In 11 games this season with the Wolves, he is averaging 21.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 2.3 APG, while shooting an impressive 43.9% from three-point range.
  • Rookie guard Luguentz Dort has now elevated himself into cult hero status with the Thunder fanbase, writes Logan Meyer of Daily Thunder. The undrafted guard out of Arizona State was signed to a two-way deal this summer but could be on the verge of signing a standard NBA deal soon. If the Thunder were to add him officially to the 15-man roster, he would able to participate in the postseason.
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