Jordan Clarkson
Jordan Clarkson
27-Year-Old GuardG
Cleveland Cavaliers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Clarkson finished just behind Kevin Love (17.0 PPG) in scoring for Cleveland last season with a career-high 16.8 points per game. He added 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in his first full season with the team and assumed the role of primary scoring option for most of the year, as Love appeared in just 22 games. He's not a knockdown shooter, but Clarkson did hit a career-high 1.8 triples per contest. He logged 27.3 minutes per contest in 2018-19, though that's likely to change this season. Cleveland drafted talented Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland with the fifth pick in this year's draft, and he'll likely be a starter immediately. With the backcourt occupied by Garland and second-year guard Collin Sexton, minutes will be harder to come by for Clarkson. If Kevin Love can stay healthy, he'll be a top option on offense and cut into Clarkson's playing time and production even further. Clarkson still a talented scorer, and is sure to retain value in points and threes, though fantasy owners should temper expectations this season. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $50 million contract with the Lakers in July of 2016. Traded to the Cavaliers in February of 2018.
Delivers 16 points off bench
GCleveland Cavaliers
April 9, 2019
Clarkson registered 16 points (7-13 FG, 2-4 3Pt), three assists and two rebounds across 23 minutes in Tuesday's 124-97 loss to the Hornets.
Clarkson has struggled with his shot over the previous two games, making just five of his 23 shots, so the strong shooting night Tuesday was encouraging. The season ended on a high note for Clarkson, who will look to build upon a 16.9 season scoring average.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
With the selection of Lonzo Ball, as well as the return of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Clarkson opened the 2017-18 campaign in a bench role for the Lakers. He primarily was tasked with providing a scoring presence in the second unit, but was eventually sent to the Cavaliers at the trade deadline in what was a deal that netted the Lakers Isaiah Thomas. Clarkson would go on to play in 28 games with the Cavaliers and saw his numbers take a slight hit across the board with averages of 12.6 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists across 22.6 minutes. He did, however, prove to me a much better shooter and hit 40.7 percent of his three-point attempts with Cleveland compared to just 32.4 percent with Los Angeles. Looking forward to the upcoming season, the Cavaliers no longer have superstar LeBron James on the roster. That creates a huge void in the rotation, so Clarkson could see a few extra minutes on the wing. Still, the Cavaliers selected promising point guard Collin Sexton with the eighth overall pick in the 2018 Draft and also bring back George Hill, J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver, so there's still a bit of a log jam in the backcourt. If Clarkson's role does increase, it would likely only be minor in nature.
After starting in 117 of the first 138 games of his career through two seasons, Clarkson was expected to man the shooting guard spot for the top unit to open 2016-17, but first-year coach Luke Walton had other ideas. In an effort to stagger his backcourt scoring a little more, Walton went with Nick Young as his starter for much of last season, with Clarkson instead settling in as the team’s sixth or seventh man. The demotion to the bench came with a slight decline in minutes, but since he often acted as the primary option for the second unit, Clarkson’s overall production -- he averaged 14.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 treys per game -- didn’t change much from the year before. While Clarkson’s raw numbers were useful enough in most fantasy leagues, the Lakers were surely counting on more efficiency from the 25-year-old, who shot a meager 32.9 percent from distance and saw his assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3) decline for a second straight year. The lack of progress in those areas combined with poor defense on the perimeter may have prompted the organization to scale back their long-term expectations for Clarkson, who had signed a four-year, $50 million extension prior to last summer. With the Lakers inking a true three-and-D wing in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one-year deal in July to replace Young and slot into the starting backcourt alongside the No. 2 overall pick, point guard Lonzo Ball, it looks like Clarkson will be primed for another year as the team’s go-to scorer off the bench. Clarkson will likely act as the top backup at either guard spot, but because Ball and Caldwell-Pope should be in store for nearly 30 minutes or more per game, Clarkson seems unlikely to see his role expand much.
While the Kobe Bryant farewell tour dominated headlines in Los Angeles, Clarkson quietly turned in a productive sophomore season. The 2014 second-rounder averaged 15.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game, with much of that production coming while sharing the court with the possession-wasting Bryant. Clarkson, who converted 34.7 percent of his 4.1 three-point attempts per game, should continue to progress, though it’s unclear where he’ll fit in the young Lakers’ offensive hierarchy. Under new coach Luke Walton, second-year point guard D’Angelo Russell should take on a much larger role, while Julius Randle, offseason pickup Luol Deng and No. 2 overall pick Brandon Ingram will need to get their touches. As a result, a significant jump in Clarkson’s counting stat production probably isn’t realistic, but with Bryant out of the picture, he has a clear path to starter’s minutes at the shooting guard spot, making him a reasonable mid-round fantasy option.
After being buried behind both Jeremy Lin and Ronnie Price to start his rookie season, Clarkson busted out of the shackles in the second half of the season to earn All-Rookie honors. For the entire season, he averaged 25 minutes a game in his 59 games, with averages of 11.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 0.6 three-pointers, while shooting 45 percent from the field and 83 percent from the free-throw line. But, we need to look at what Clarkson was able to do when he was inserted into the starting lineup to get a real feel for his contribution. As a starter in 38 games, Clarkson played 32 minutes, averaging 15.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 0.9 three-pointers, shooting 46 percent from the field and 84 percent from the stripe. Those are fantastic numbers, but they came along with a usage rate of 24.1, and with Kobe Bryant and Nick Young returning from injury, as well as the offseason additions of D'Angelo Russell and Lou Williams, it appears as though it will be hard for Clarkson to approach that sort of playing time again, barring injury. Still, we've seen what he can do when he's out on the court, and the Lakers would be wise to develop the backcourt combination of he and Russell, as that's where the future of the franchise likely will be headed.
Jordan Clarkson was the 46th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, initially selected by the Washington Wizards. The Lakers acquired his draft rights for cash considerations on draft night. Clarkson, a combo guard, played two seasons at the University of Tulsa before transferring to Missouri and playing his junior campaign there last season. As a junior, he averaged 17.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 0.9 three-pointers in 35 minutes per game through 35 games. The 17.5 points per game he scored ranked seventh in the SEC last season. In summer league, Clarkson showed his potential, averaging 15.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 1.6 three-pointers in 31 minutes per game through five games. Currently sitting behind Jeremy Lin and Steve Nash on the point guard depth chart, Clarkson has the opportunity to see the floor this season, considering Nash missed 67 games and Lin 11 games last season. He's more of a fantasy prospect in dynasty leagues, given that both Nash and Lin are out of their contracts after this season.
More Fantasy News
Bench-high scoring total in loss
GCleveland Cavaliers
April 2, 2019
Clarkson provided 20 points (8-16 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 3-3 FT), six rebounds, three assists and one steal across 33 minutes in the Cavaliers' 122-113 loss to the Suns on Monday.
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Leads charge from bench
GCleveland Cavaliers
March 30, 2019
Clarkson scored a game-high 26 points (11-16 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 4-4 FT) while adding two assists and two steals in 24 minutes off the bench during Saturday's 132-108 loss to the Clippers.
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Drops 23 points off bench
GCleveland Cavaliers
March 20, 2019
Clarkson totaled 23 points (9-17 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 4-4 FT), five rebounds, two assists and two steals across 32 minutes in Wednesday's 107-102 win over the Bucks.
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Productive off bench in loss
GCleveland Cavaliers
March 17, 2019
Clarkson poured in 17 points (10-17 FG, 4-7 3Pt, 4-5 FT) and added four assists and three rebounds across 38 minutes in the Cavaliers' 121-116 loss to the Mavericks on Saturday.
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Remains effective bench piece
GCleveland Cavaliers
March 14, 2019
Clarkson tallied 15 points (6-18 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 2-2 FT), four rebounds, two assists and a steal over 27 minutes Thursday against the Magic.
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