The Lakers officially signed guard Jordan Clarkson on Monday, providing more depth to a backcourt that it hopes stays more effective and healthy than last season.
The terms of Clarkson’s contract were not immediately available, but his contract is non guaranteed since he is a second round draft pick. The Lakers became intrigued enough about Clarkson’s potential that they paid the Washington Wizards $1.8 million to secure their 46th overall draft pick in this year’s draft.
Clarkson provided early signs the Lakers made a steal in the draft after leading the team’s summer league team in scoring (15.8 points per game) and rebounds (five). Clarkson, whom the Lakers believe could play at both guard positions, also made a game-winning tipin in the team’s summer league win over Golden State. He could compete for playing time at both point guard and shooting guard amid a backcourt that features Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin, Nick Young and Xavier Henry. Bryant, Young and Henry are also expected to play some minutes at the small forward spot.
Clarkson averaged 17.5 points last season with Missouri, but he shot better than 38.5 percent from the field only once in his last nine games. Yet, Clarkson showed some promise with his shooting, going 42.1 percent from the field through five games.
The Lakers currently have 13 players under contract. Per NBA rules, all teams can field up to 20 players during training camp next month, but they can field no more than 15 beginning Oct. 28 in the Lakers’ season opener against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center.
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