Jordan Clarkson was a glimmer of hope in a lost 2014-15 season, with his pell-mell forrays into the lane to either seek out contact or finish at the basket reminiscent to some of MVP candidate and 2015 All-NBA second team member Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Mitch Kupchak noticed the similarities as well, telling ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd on a Thursday morning appearance on his show ""If there's a player in the league that plays like him, it's Russell Westbrook."
Before fans get too excited and start expecting Clarkson, the 46th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, to reach the same heights and production, Kupchak clarified, "Now, I'm not saying for a second that Jordan Clarkson is the next Russell Westbrook, but he's that kind of a ball-handling guard."
Clarkson was recently voted onto the 2015 NBA All-Rookie first team as recognition of his breakout year. The surprisingly productive rookie was very good post All-Star break, with averages of 16.7 points and 5.4 assists per game. That does not quite approach Westbrook's season averages of 28.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 8.6 assists. They are, however, comparable to Westbrook's rookie season averages of 15.3 points and 5.3 assists.
Kupchak is also not the first person to compare the two guards. In March, Lakers head coach Byron Scott likened the athleticism of Clarkson to that of Westbrook, and veteran power forward Carlos Boozer called Clarkson a "star in the making" and a "baby Westbrook" in his exit interview.