With Bojan Bogdanovic getting traded to the Detroit Pistons, the Los Angeles Lakers can rule out the Utah Jazz as a trade destination for Russell Westbrook. It would be much more difficult to make the salaries work and Utah doesn’t have much to offer that would be appealing to the Lakers. The only appealing player they have left is Jordan Clarkson.
The 2021 Sixth Man of the Year winner is likely on his way out at some point. Clarkson originally came into the NBA as a Laker. He spent four seasons with the team before getting traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s been one of the best sixth-men in the league in recent years and could be an interesting player to target if the Lakers are interested.
Something interesting to keep an eye on 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 jersey on the wall. Notably, he called attention to the fact that the jersey was next to the jerseys of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
It could just be wishful thinking on the part of the Clarkson family. The Jazz are in rebuild mode and the guard is 30 now. He’s going to want to play with a team that can contend now. The Lakers have issues but are much closer to being contenders than Utah.
Could Lakers Still Trade for Clarkson?
Trading for Clarkson is much more complicated now that Bogdanovic is gone. The Lakers already made a deal with the Jazz for Patrick Beverley. The Talen Horton-Tucker contract they sent away would’ve made it easier to land Clarkson. Los Angeles likely valued what Beverley could bring to the team more.
The only way the Lakers could feasibly land Clarkson is a deal surrounding Russell Westbrook. If Los Angeles wanted to send Westbrook to Utah in a deal that lands them Malik Beasley, Mike Conley and Clarkson, that would be possible from a money standpoint. However, adding three guards can’t be that appealing to Los Angeles. Clarkson can be a free agent after the season due to a player option in his contract so he’ll likely have to wait if he wants to choose his next destination.
Lakers Don’t Need More Guards
Clarkson is a very good player and could provide a lot of scoring off the bench. That said, the last thing the Lakers need is more guards. The team already has Westbrook, Beverley, Austin Reaves, Kendrick Nunn and Dennis Schroder. What they lack is wings, which is why Bogdanovic was appealing to the team.
If the Lakers make moves going forward, it needs to be to add wings. LeBron is the only true wing on the roster who has a proven track record of success. If Los Angeles is relying on a 37-year-old to be their best wing on both sides of the court, they are in for a rude awakening. This late in the offseason, it’s difficult to see a trade materialize. The Lakers are to have to rely on guards this season and hope that LeBron and Davis have huge years.