Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson To Pick Up Player Option

Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson intends to exercise his $14.26MM player option for 2023/24, avoiding free agency and keeping him off the open market, league sources tell Sarah Todd of The Deseret News (Twitter link).

As Todd notes, by picking up his option, Clarkson would become extension-eligible immediately. He was eligible for an in-season extension in ’22/23 as well, and multiple reports said that scenario was discussed.

However, Clarkson can earn more money on a potential extension in a couple days due to a change in the new CBA, which allows veterans to receive 140% of their current salary in the first year of an extension instead of 120%. If the Jazz don’t make further roster additions in free agency, it’s possible they could use some of their cap space to renegotiate and extend Clarkson, which would give him a higher base salary in year one with a declining structure in subsequent seasons. That’s what the Pacers and Myles Turner did during the season.

Clarkson, who turned 31 earlier this month, averaged career highs in multiple categories in 2022/23, including points (20.8), assists (4.4), rebounds (4.0; tied with two other seasons) and minutes per game (32.6) in 61 contests, all starts. His overall shooting slash line of .444/.338/.816 was very close to his career averages (.440/.338/.826), but his efficiency was up a tick because he attempted more three-pointers and free throws.

While Clarkson can score on anyone, he’s also a poor defensive player and over 30, which limits his upside. Hoping to reach an extension makes sense if he’s comfortable in Utah, though it’s worth noting that he’ll be trade-eligible after opting in. If he signs an extension that places him under contract for more than three total seasons, includes a raise greater than 5%, or includes a renegotiation, he’ll become ineligible to be dealt for six months.

The Jazz also decided to keep big man Kelly Olynyk, whose $12.2MM contract for ’23/24 was only partially guaranteed at $3MM. Since he wasn’t waived last night, his contract is now fully guaranteed. The news was expected, as GM Justin Zanik said after the season ended that he anticipated having Olynyk back.

The full list of player option decisions for 2023/24 can be found right here.

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