With recent reports that D’Angelo Russell will be the lead guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, could there be any truth in the NBA trade rumors that they are looking to deal their other starting guard, Jordan Clarkson before the new season begins?
Russell admitted in a recent interview that new head coach Luke Walton has the confidence in him in being one of the top offensive players of the team. While the season has not started yet, it’s interesting to see how Russell will co-exist with another point guard in Clarkson.
“He wants me to shoot the ball when I’m open. When a coach tells you to shoot the ball, it’s like a green light for you,” Russell said via Fox Sports.
“You can’t want that more than anything. But the catch is you got to be good enough to know that when you’re not open, you gotta pass. That’s the responsibility he’s thrown at me and everybody.”
As SR noted, the offensive focus of the Lakers could go to Russell. This leads to the previous NBA trade rumors that the Lakers might be willing to send one of their guards to the Philadelphia 76ers, who are loaded with big men but wants wingmen to complete a more balanced roster.
According to speculations earlier in the summer, two big man are available for trades from Philadelphia, power forward Nerlens Noel and center Jahlil Okafor. The Sixers want to unload one or two of their big men as they also have Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric playing in the 2016-2017 NBA Season.
Via Real GM’s Trade Checker, a trade of Jordan Clarkson for Jahlil Okafor and Sergio Rodriguez works under the NBA trade rules. Both Clarkson and Rodriguez signed new contracts this summer and are only eligible to be traded after December 15, 2016.
For the Lakers, this deal makes sense since they want more prospects in the frontcourt position with Timofey Mozgov, Tarik Black and Ivica Zubac not seen as franchise players.
The Lakers also extended Clarkson to a four-year $50 million contract this summer. However, Russell is seen as the franchise point guard of their future and if they can’t make it work together in the backcourt it makes no sense for L.A. to stick with both.
For the Sixers, they get a starting point guard in this deal although they might demand a future first round pick from the Lakers to get this trade done.
With some of the Lakers still not available for trades, coach Walton is likely to try the D’Angelo Russell-Jordan Clarkson backcourt first in the early part of the regular season.
Expect the NBA trade rumors to heat up by December and near the trade deadline, if both the Lakers and Sixers struggle record-wise and if they decide to move their young pieces to get a more balanced roster.
Photo courtesy: Instagram/jordanclarksons