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After a minor breakout in 2020-21, Clarkson regressed slightly during another underwhelming campaign for the Jazz, rounding out the season as the 157th-ranked player in eight-category roto. This was in line with where he'd been before his breakout, logging averages of 16.0 points and 2.4 triples. With the Jazz now looking to the future, Clarkson's long-term role is a little clouded. While he is a very solid scorer off the bench, his lack of production outside of the scoring column means his contributions are limited on a nightly basis. Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell are gone, so Clarkson could nudge 30 minutes per night should the Jazz simply opt to run him out there no matter what. His floor is relatively safe, and although his upside leaves a lot to be desired, Clarkson provides enough to be a viable late-round target.
The reigning Sixth Man of the Year is coming off a career year for the Jazz, who posted the league's best regular-season record in 2020-21. In 26.7 minutes per game, Clarkson averaged a career-best 18.4 points per game to go with 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.9 steals. As a shoot-first guard who launched 8.8 three-pointers per game, Clarkson's efficiency (42.5% FG) leaves something to be desired, but he provided just enough offense to sneak into the top 100 in eight-category leagues last season. Factoring in Clarkson's durability -- he's missed just seven total games over the last five seasons -- he'll warrant targeting in the later rounds of most standard-league drafts. Utah returns essentially the same roster as last season, so Clarkson's role should remain mostly unchanged. If veteran starter Mike Conley, who's missed 20-plus games in three of the last four seasons, continues to be hit by injuries, Clarkson's value would only rise.
Clarkson appeared in 29 games for the Cavaliers before he was dealt to the Jazz right before Christmas. He occupied his usual sixth-man role on both squads, averaging 15.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.1 threes and 1.9 assists in 24.0 minutes. Clarkson had a strong playoff series with the Jazz, too, averaging 16.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 28.6 minutes. Utah clearly valued his ability to score, as they inked the combo-guard to a four-year, $51.5 million contract during the offseason. In 2020-21, Clarkson should occupy a similar role, if not exactly the same role, as he did with the team last season. Assuming that's the case, he'll mostly be valuable in deeper fantasy leagues, as he ranked 144th on a per-game basis in 2019-20.
Clarkson finished just behind Kevin Love (17.0 PPG) in scoring for Cleveland last season with a career-high 16.8 points per game. He added 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in his first full season with the team and assumed the role of primary scoring option for most of the year, as Love appeared in just 22 games. He's not a knockdown shooter, but Clarkson did hit a career-high 1.8 triples per contest. He logged 27.3 minutes per contest in 2018-19, though that's likely to change this season. Cleveland drafted talented Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland with the fifth pick in this year's draft, and he'll likely be a starter immediately. With the backcourt occupied by Garland and second-year guard Collin Sexton, minutes will be harder to come by for Clarkson. If Kevin Love can stay healthy, he'll be a top option on offense and cut into Clarkson's playing time and production even further. Clarkson still a talented scorer, and is sure to retain value in points and threes, though fantasy owners should temper expectations this season.
With the selection of Lonzo Ball, as well as the return of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Clarkson opened the 2017-18 campaign in a bench role for the Lakers. He primarily was tasked with providing a scoring presence in the second unit, but was eventually sent to the Cavaliers at the trade deadline in what was a deal that netted the Lakers Isaiah Thomas. Clarkson would go on to play in 28 games with the Cavaliers and saw his numbers take a slight hit across the board with averages of 12.6 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists across 22.6 minutes. He did, however, prove to me a much better shooter and hit 40.7 percent of his three-point attempts with Cleveland compared to just 32.4 percent with Los Angeles. Looking forward to the upcoming season, the Cavaliers no longer have superstar LeBron James on the roster. That creates a huge void in the rotation, so Clarkson could see a few extra minutes on the wing. Still, the Cavaliers selected promising point guard Collin Sexton with the eighth overall pick in the 2018 Draft and also bring back George Hill, J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver, so there's still a bit of a log jam in the backcourt. If Clarkson's role does increase, it would likely only be minor in nature.
After starting in 117 of the first 138 games of his career through two seasons, Clarkson was expected to man the shooting guard spot for the top unit to open 2016-17, but first-year coach Luke Walton had other ideas. In an effort to stagger his backcourt scoring a little more, Walton went with Nick Young as his starter for much of last season, with Clarkson instead settling in as the team’s sixth or seventh man. The demotion to the bench came with a slight decline in minutes, but since he often acted as the primary option for the second unit, Clarkson’s overall production -- he averaged 14.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 treys per game -- didn’t change much from the year before. While Clarkson’s raw numbers were useful enough in most fantasy leagues, the Lakers were surely counting on more efficiency from the 25-year-old, who shot a meager 32.9 percent from distance and saw his assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3) decline for a second straight year. The lack of progress in those areas combined with poor defense on the perimeter may have prompted the organization to scale back their long-term expectations for Clarkson, who had signed a four-year, $50 million extension prior to last summer. With the Lakers inking a true three-and-D wing in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one-year deal in July to replace Young and slot into the starting backcourt alongside the No. 2 overall pick, point guard Lonzo Ball, it looks like Clarkson will be primed for another year as the team’s go-to scorer off the bench. Clarkson will likely act as the top backup at either guard spot, but because Ball and Caldwell-Pope should be in store for nearly 30 minutes or more per game, Clarkson seems unlikely to see his role expand much.
While the Kobe Bryant farewell tour dominated headlines in Los Angeles, Clarkson quietly turned in a productive sophomore season. The 2014 second-rounder averaged 15.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game, with much of that production coming while sharing the court with the possession-wasting Bryant. Clarkson, who converted 34.7 percent of his 4.1 three-point attempts per game, should continue to progress, though it’s unclear where he’ll fit in the young Lakers’ offensive hierarchy. Under new coach Luke Walton, second-year point guard D’Angelo Russell should take on a much larger role, while Julius Randle, offseason pickup Luol Deng and No. 2 overall pick Brandon Ingram will need to get their touches. As a result, a significant jump in Clarkson’s counting stat production probably isn’t realistic, but with Bryant out of the picture, he has a clear path to starter’s minutes at the shooting guard spot, making him a reasonable mid-round fantasy option.
After being buried behind both Jeremy Lin and Ronnie Price to start his rookie season, Clarkson busted out of the shackles in the second half of the season to earn All-Rookie honors. For the entire season, he averaged 25 minutes a game in his 59 games, with averages of 11.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 0.6 three-pointers, while shooting 45 percent from the field and 83 percent from the free-throw line. But, we need to look at what Clarkson was able to do when he was inserted into the starting lineup to get a real feel for his contribution. As a starter in 38 games, Clarkson played 32 minutes, averaging 15.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 0.9 three-pointers, shooting 46 percent from the field and 84 percent from the stripe. Those are fantastic numbers, but they came along with a usage rate of 24.1, and with Kobe Bryant and Nick Young returning from injury, as well as the offseason additions of D'Angelo Russell and Lou Williams, it appears as though it will be hard for Clarkson to approach that sort of playing time again, barring injury. Still, we've seen what he can do when he's out on the court, and the Lakers would be wise to develop the backcourt combination of he and Russell, as that's where the future of the franchise likely will be headed.
Jordan Clarkson was the 46th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, initially selected by the Washington Wizards. The Lakers acquired his draft rights for cash considerations on draft night. Clarkson, a combo guard, played two seasons at the University of Tulsa before transferring to Missouri and playing his junior campaign there last season. As a junior, he averaged 17.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 0.9 three-pointers in 35 minutes per game through 35 games. The 17.5 points per game he scored ranked seventh in the SEC last season. In summer league, Clarkson showed his potential, averaging 15.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 1.6 three-pointers in 31 minutes per game through five games. Currently sitting behind Jeremy Lin and Steve Nash on the point guard depth chart, Clarkson has the opportunity to see the floor this season, considering Nash missed 67 games and Lin 11 games last season. He's more of a fantasy prospect in dynasty leagues, given that both Nash and Lin are out of their contracts after this season.