If Jordan Clarkson had his way he would remain with the Los Angeles Lakers but rumors are swirling that the 24-yrear old Clarkson is keeping an “open mind” on the possibilities that would come when free agency starts on July 1.
Clarkson is a restricted free agent meaning that he can listen to offers from other team but his team, the Lakers, reserves the right to match the offer to keep him on their roster. Clarkson has stressed that he would want to return as part of the Lakers for next season and stated that he would work out with on his defense to make him a complete player. He has been one of the consistent players on the Lakers roster for the last two seasons backing the performances of then Kobe Bryant, he just hopes he can still play for the Lakers especially with a new coach calling the shots from the sideline in the person of Luke Walton.
“LA is like home for me, so I definitely want to be here. I definitely want to stay in LA but kind of have an open mind,” Clarkson said.
Clarkson added that he has to improve both offensively and defensively and he used the summer to improve in both skills. Clarkson has worked with his trainer Drew Hanlen in order to improve his skills. Aside from hitting the gym, he adds that he also reviews his past games and try to pinpoint areas where he needs to improve.
“I feel like I need to get stronger for both: offensively and defensively. I played mostly (shooting guard) and (point guard) this year, so just switching between those positions and being able to guard both of those. Adding muscle and strength will be a big help to me. A lot of it is film work. Figuring out where you messed up, different angles you have to take—Closing out. A lot of it comes from 1-on-1 stuff,” Clarkson explained.
Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll reported that Clarkson has developed another arsenal up his sleeves as he has improved with his shooting from beyond the arc. With his shooting touch improving, Clarkson’s market value will surely improve when the free agency season opens.
“I spend a lot of time in the gym. A lot of shooting, a lot of reps. I did a lot of work last summer on my midrange stuff, but now I just want to be able to stretch my game out a little bit more. Shooting off the dribble and making plays behind the line,” Clarkson added.
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The Lakers are looking at a fresh start with the hiring of Walton, the Lakers might be composed of a young roster but with the dedication set by the players such as Clarkson. Armed with the No. 2 pick in the coming draft and a possible rich find in the free agency market, the Lakers and Clarkson are hoping to bounce back and be a contender in the coming season.
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