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Jordan Clarkson would 'likely' play for U.S. in Rising Stars game

Clarkson is a lock for the All-Star Weekend exhibition, but which side he will play for is still up in the air.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Clarkson made the NBA's All-Rookie team in 2015, but due to the fact that he only started receiving consistent minutes after the league's All-Star break, his production was not enough to get him in to the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge last season. Better known as the Rookie-Sophomore game, the Rising Stars challenge switched formats in 2015 to "USA versus World," pitting international players against domestic ones instead of rookie's taking on sophomores as the league had done in prior seasons.

Barring an injury, Clarkson will play in the exhibition this season. Clarkson's 15.2 points per game rank second only 2015 first overall pick Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves (20.8), while he also ranks fifth in assists (2.4) and steals (1.2).

Given Jordan Clarkson's vocal desire to represent his mother's home country of the Philippines in international play, many assumed the speedy combo guard would represent the world if the game was once again a match-up of U.S. versus international players. However, according to Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times, that may not be the case:

While the game's format has yet to be officially announced, if the game repeated the same formula as last year, the hope that as many as four Lakers (Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell, Larry Nance, Jr., and Julius Randle) would be selected for the event appears unlikely. It is also notable that the U.S. born Clarkson would either select or be chosen by the league as a U.S. player when he will play for the Philippines in international competitions.

In any case, with rosters and formats yet to be announced for the challenge this is all highly speculative for now, but it is the only event in Toronto that will feature multiple Lakers and thus worth keeping an eye on.

All stats per You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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