With Bojan Bogdanovic trading the Detroit Pistons, the Los Angeles Lakers could rule out the Utah Jazz as the trading destination for Russell Westbrook. It will be much more difficult to make the salaries work and Utah does not have much to offer that will attract the Lakers. The only remaining attractive player is Jordan Clarkson.
The 2021 Sixth Man Award winner will likely be on his way out at some point. Clarkson originally came to the NBA as a Laker. He spent four seasons with the team before being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s been one of the best sixth-place players in the league in recent years and could be an interesting player if the Lakers are interested.
An interesting thing to watch is Clarkson’s brother’s Instagram. Bear Clarkson was recently at a sporting goods store when he decided to take a video of his brother’s shirt on the wall. Notably, he drew attention to the fact that the shirt was next to the shirts of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
It could just be wishful thinking on the part of the Clarkson family. Jazz is in rebuild mode and the ranger is 30 now. He will want to play with a team that can compete now. The Lakers are having problems but they are a lot closer to being contenders than Utah.
Are the Lakers still trading for Clarkson?
Trading with Clarkson is more complicated now that Bogdanovic is gone. The Lakers have already made a deal with the Jazz for Patrick Beverly. The Talen Horton-Tucker necklace they sent away would have made it easier for Clarkson to reach. Los Angeles will probably appreciate what Beverly can bring to the team even more.
The only way the Lakers could defeat Clarkson was with a deal surrounding Russell Westbrook. If Los Angeles wanted to send Westbrook to Utah in a deal that landed them owner Beasley, Mike Conley and Clarkson, that would be feasible from a financial standpoint. However, adding three guards couldn’t be more appealing to Los Angeles. Clarkson could be a free agent after the season due to a player option on his contract, so he will likely wait if he wants to pick his next destination.
The Lakers don’t need more guards
Clarkson is a very good player and can score a lot from the bench. However, the last thing the Lakers need is more guards. The squad already includes Westbrook, Beverly, Austin Reeves, Kendrick Noone and Dennis Schroeder. What they lack is the wings, which is why Bogdanovic was so appealing to the team.
If the Lakers make moves going forward, it should be to add wings. LeBron is the only real winger on the list with a proven track record of success. If LA is counting on a 37-year-old to be their best winger on either side of the field, they’re in for a rude awakening. Late in the season, it’s hard to see the trade materialize. The Lakers should rely on guards this season and hope LeBron and Davis have many years to come.
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