Jordan Clarkson Ready to Embrace Real Role with Los Angeles Lakers

Rookie Jordan Clarkson has seen limited minutes so far in his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers. He may soon get the chance to embrace a more meaningful role.

The 6’5” speedster out of Mizzou was selected 46th overall in this year’s draft. The Lakers envisioned him as a point guard prospect for the future. Clarkson was more focused on the present.

Feeling disrespected for slipping to the second round, he said, per Mark Medina for the Los Angeles Daily News: “I felt like I was one of the better point guards in the draft, maybe the best.”

There’s nothing like confidence in a brand new NBA baller. But sometimes they need to learn to walk before they run.

The 22-year-old took every shot in sight during Las Vegas Summer League, leading all Lakers in scoring, with 15.8 points and five boards per game.

And then came the first month of the regular season, spent primarily as a third-string shooting guard behind Kobe Bryant and Wayne Ellington.

In 12 minutes per game over 10 appearances, Clarkson has averaged five points and less than one assist per game. And while he’s nailing 42 percent of his three-pointers, the sample size is too small to be meaningful—only seven attempts in total.

He has also averaged 23.5 points and 7.5 assists in two starts for the D-Fenders, the Lakers’ Development League affiliate. That’s the difference between baby steps in the big time and a romp through the outer fringes.

Some sort of happy medium may soon be at hand.

Interviewed by Mike Trudell for on Nov. 25, Byron Scott said he’s considering a switch from Ronnie Price to Clarkson at the backup point position: “I’m going to have to give him a real small menu of plays that I want him to run, just so I can keep him from getting himself into trouble.”

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