Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton said Friday that Jordan Clarkson would be one of the recipients of extra fourth quarter playing time now that Lou Williams has been traded, but if other teams had their way, Clarkson would have been sent out as well.
"Leading up to yesterday's trade deadline, almost every time the Lakers fielded a phone call, they were asked about Jordan Clarkson and his availability,” said Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum Sportsnet on the network’s pregame broadcast before the Lakers took on the Oklahoma City Thunder. “Maybe teams are kind of prodding the Lakers to see if he's a little bit undervalued. Nope, they definitely want to hang on to him."
Clarkson, who is averaging 13.7 points per game this season to go with 2.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.9 turnovers, just re-signed with the Lakers on a four-year, $48 million deal over the summer that made him the team’s third-highest paid player.
The third-year guard likely would have needed to be included in any deal involving the Lakers’ young core in order to make salaries match, but it’s interesting to hear that teams were asking about him specifically amidst a down year, even if they were just attempting to buy low on him if the Lakers were selling.
It doesn’t sound like they were or are, and the trade deadline has passed anyway, but it will be interesting to see if talks like this pop back up again over the off-season.
All stats per NBA.com. and Basketball-Reference.com. All quotes transcribed via Spectrum Sportsnet. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.