The Los Angeles Lakers aren't planning on letting a key component in their young core walk this summer and intend on matching any offer sheet restricted free agent Jordan Clarkson signs, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times (and soon to be TWC Sportsnet). This comes as no surprise as the team focuses on a youth movement that truly began with the emergency of Clarkson during his rookie season.
Clarkson's contract should come fairly affordable to the Lakers and, by all appearances, Jordan's embraced being a part of the rebuild in Los Angeles. He proved his rookie year wasn't a fluke and that he can be a dynamic guard, but what kind of rule best suits him remains to be seen. It's a definite bonus that he can play with Russell and handle some of the backcourt duties on his own, allowing the Lakers some flexibility with their roster construction.
Re-signing Clarkson definitely feels like a no-brainer given where he is in his career, and the Lakers are as a growing team.
The Lakers have portioned off $16 million of their available cap space to the addition of Timofey Mozgov, solving the riddle to who's going to fill in at center with Roy Hibbert out of the picture. Signs point to a small forward being the next order of business for the Lakers, with both Nicolas Batum and Chandler Parsons expected to hear what the Lakers have to say. They've also been linked to Kent Bazemore, Evan Turner and Mo Harkless.
The 76ers are said to be one of the teams that could make a play for Clarkson, but the Lakers are prepared to match and be on their merry way with their young core. Given the seemingly inevitable outcome, hopefully both sides come together and get the contract worked out as quickly and painlessly as possible.