By most accounts, the Washington Wizards have had a successful offseason so far. They resigned Marcin Gortat, added veteran Paul Pierce, and bolstered their front court rotation with solid big men like Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair. In addition, Otto Porter Jr. and Glen Rice Jr. were dynamic in the Summer League, with Rice winning MVP honors. However, Rice and Porter aren't the Summer Leaguers tantalizing Wizards fans with their potential. As Wizards draftee and current Lakers rookie guard Jordan Clarkson continues to impress, he'll have Wizards fans wondering what could have been.
The Wizards drafted Jordan Clarkson 46th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft. At the time, the pick was considered a steal, as some thought the young combo guard had first round potential. But Clarkson's stint with the Wizards has very short-lived, as later that night the Wizards traded his rights to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for cash considerations. At the time, the trade was largely ignored, as talk about the Lakers was centered around Julius Randle, Pau Gasol and the push to sign Carmelo Anthony. But Clarkson has been demanding attention with his recent play, showcasing athleticism, aggressiveness and improved shooting and demonstrating why so many people considered him a steal. The 6'5" guard averaged 15.8 points and 5 rebounds in the Summer League and played with a huge chip on his shoulder. Yes, it's the Summer League, but Clarkson's production showed that he has the potential to make an impact for a Lakers team in transition.
Clarkson probably won't be a star, and he may not even become a starter. But he could be a fine rotational player, and he would have fit a big need for the Wizards. Clarkson is a legit, rangy 6'5" capable of playing both guard positions. He has the speed and athleticism that Andre Miller lacks and has much more playmaking potential than Garrett Temple. With Martell Webster injured, Clarkson could have added scoring and created mismatches off the bench while learning the finer points of point guard play from the veteran Miller and assistant and Summer League coach Sam Cassell. The Wizards have a bright future, and Clarkson could have been a part of it.
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