Jordan Clarkson Has Officially Emerged as Los Angeles Lakers’ Best Player

LOS ANGELES — Thanks to his nifty bag of floaters, efficient mid-range game and out-of-the-blue three-point accuracy, Jordan Clarkson has quietly become the best player on the Los Angeles Lakers. 

As it stands, that particular label lacks the prestige it once did, but Clarkson’s blooming gifts have glimmered within the darkness of Los Angeles’ 2-9 start. In a slightly different role from his rookie season, the second-round pick is even more dynamic in year two, as a pure scorer who ends plays from just about any spot on the court. 

As the Lakers’ current leader in total minutes, shots and points, Clarkson doubles as one of the most effective scorers in the entire league. According to, among players who average at least 30 minutes per game, Clarkson is one of four who are making at least 44 percent of their threes and 45 percent of their overall field goals. 

According to, as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, Clarkson is more efficient than Jimmy Butler, Bradley Beal, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Tony Parker (on equal or more attempts). As a spot-up shooter who is knocking down 48.4 percent of his catch-and-shoot threes, he’s averaging more points per possession than Kyle Korver and Dirk Nowitzki. 

“I’m trying to knock down the open ones,” he said. “The easy ones when I have the opportunity, worrying about taking good shots instead of bad shots. … I’m continuing to grow in that area.”

He’s clearly in good company, even if very little of his influence has improved the Lakers’ all-around sorrows. They have the third-worst offense in basketball and score at an even lower rate with Clarkson on the court. But his rapid development can’t be overlooked.

Eleven games into a lost season, embedded within a roster that's already infamous for its...

About the Author