Lakers Insider: Jordan Clarkson Must Be 2-Way Player Regardless of Role

LOS ANGELES — This offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers made a $50 million investment in third-year guard Jordan Clarkson.

On Saturday, Clarkson made his first start of the preseason, scoring 15 points during a 112-107 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

The Lakers will get a rematch against the Warriors on Wednesday, and head coach Luke Walton is still trying to decide on a role for Clarkson, be it off the bench as the team's sixth man or in the starting backcourt next to point guard D'Angelo Russell.

"That's something we'll figure out—if we want to try it again next game," Walton told reporters Monday. "As a staff, we'll probably talk to him a little bit, see what he's thinking, how he's feeling and make that decision tomorrow."

Clarkson has spoken highly of Walton, despite what might be perceived as a demotion to the team's second unit after he started each of the 79 games he played last season. Walton has instead gone with veteran scorer Lou Williams in the team's five other preseason contests, citing the chemistry developing between bench players such as Clarkson, Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr., Tarik Black and either Jose Calderon or Marcelo Huertas.

"It's a good, active young group for the most part," Walton said. "They've got some basketball IQ there where they help each other a lot. It's too early to tell exactly what it is, but there's definitely something to that group."

Said Clarkson: "Coach is doing a good job of mixing up the lineups and trying to build chemistry. I think he's doing a really good job."

Acquired by the Lakers in a trade with the Washington Wizards, who drafted him with the 46th pick in 2014, Clarkson impressed as an offensive player through his first two seasons. But he criticized his own play after the Lakers' 17-win debacle last year.

"I was horrible on the defensive end this year, to be honest with you. This summer, I've got to ma...

About the Author