Can Jordan Clarkson Fill the Los Angeles Lakers’ Point Guard Hole for Good?

With the second pick in the 2015 NBA draft, cap space to blow and free agents to consider, the Los Angeles Lakers have more than their share of offseason questions.

It'd be nice if they knew Jordan Clarkson was a long-term answer at the point.

There's a lot to indicate he might be, starting with his spot on the NBA's All-Rookie First Team in 2014-15.

This year's class of rookie guards wasn't exactly a bumper crop, but the fact that Clarkson, 23, landed a spot on the All-Rookie team means he's already dramatically outperformed his No. 46 draft slot. Once assuming full-time-starter status, he averaged 15.8 points, five assists and 4.2 rebounds on 45.8 percent shooting from the field.

And Clarkson clearly improved as he got more comfortable down the stretch of his first NBA season, averaging 19.4 points, 6.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds in eight April contests.

At 6'5", Clarkson boasts the size to guard either backcourt position, though there's a severe need for improvement on that end. He's also got the athleticism and confidence of another combo guard, one to whom teammate Carlos Boozer compared Clarkson during his postseason exit interview, per Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

Boozer may be a little biased, but he's been around the league a long time. If he sees something in Clarkson, it's worth noting.

At the same time, there are reasons to be skeptical about Clarkson's rookie performance, with the most significant being the circumstances under which he played last year.

The Lakers simply weren't involved in meaningful games last season. And while the low stakes of a lost season afford young players opportunities, a pressure-free environment makes it difficult to judge the value of their production.

Do 19.4 points per game in April mean anything when they come against defenses that aren't taking the opposition seriously? May...

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