Jordan Clarkson Talks About His Transition From NCAA To Pros

Rey Moralde —  July 17, 2014

After the Lakers lost to the Sixers at Summer League, 83-61, Jordan Clarkson stopped by for a conversation.

Clarkson was asked about his progression in the four Summer League games he’s played.

“I’m trying to get used to the pace of the game. Playing at different speeds.”

He was then asked if he’s shown enough to impress the Lakers front office.

“Yeah, I think so. I’m just coming out here to compete and work hard. I’m trying to do that every time I step on the court.”

Clarkson then talked about playing alongsite Kendall Marshall and was asked if he had to play both guard spots.

“It’s interchangeable. Sometimes, it’s what coach calls. We just kinda rotate on what’s going on the court.”

Jordan raved about his fellow rookie, Julius Randle.

“He’s versatile. He can put the ball on the ground. I don’t think too many 6’10” guys can stay in front of him. And he’s athletic enough to finish and make plays. The dude’s a beast.”

Did he have a preference on which guard spot to play?

“No preference for me. Just a playmaker trying to make plays. Just doing what I can to help the team.”

Clarkson was asked about the biggest adjustment he had to make from college to the professional level.

“Just the pace. Sometimes, I play a little but too fast; I need to slow down. I’m still a rookie. I’m just going to keep learning and make sure I learn fast.”

I asked him what he was working on the most about his game.

“Just everything. My all-around game. My team chemistry, being able to make shots, make plays, create for others… it’s really everything.”

Jordan Clarkson has been impressive in Summer League thus far. He has no fear when it comes to penetration and wreaks some havoc on both ends of the court. Here’s to hoping he carries it over to his first NBA regular season.

Rey Moralde


to Jordan Clarkson Talks About His Transition From NCAA To Pros

  1. It can’t be real, it has to be a nightmare!! Carlos Boozer a Laker!!! NOOOOO!!!!


  2. Nooooooooooo Carlos boozer


  3. I’m so perplexed and annoyed by the Boozer pickup, but if the plan is to develop from within, I hope Clarkson gets more run than Lin and even Nash. Not right away, obviously, but as soon as he shows a grasp. I was hoping the same for Randle too, but perhaps adding the veterans is to give Kobe something to work with right off the bat. Or pieces for later trades. I hope the rookies play their way into the rotation regardless, just really don’t want to see Boozer wear the uniform.


  4. He is year younger then Pau and cost $7 mill less.

    Better then Sacre, Johnson or Shawn Brick Williams last year!

    Give them 20 minutes and 10 points and besides how can we turn down booze? Hiccup. Oops sorry.


  5. Boozer killed the site. Heh.

    Also, people who aren’t aware should know that Boozer cannot be traded for a year.


  6. Also, I am 100% opposed to the Boozer acquisition.


  7. So you guys can have last years lineup

    Marshells, Meeks. Williams, Johnson and Pau.

    I will take
    Kobe , Lin, Randel, Boozer, Hill

    Who wins?

    Oh by the way you get MDA


  8. Lol ko – im in too

    You gotta get in touch with him for local market advertising asap


  9. I dislike Boozer as a player. Nicest thing I can say about his game is that.
    I must now prepare myself for Mike Dunleavy getting the head coaching nod and Preparation H sponsorship logos on the front Lakers jerseys.


  10. Wow

    Kelly Dwyer just murdered the Lakers and this signing on Ball Don’t lie.
    Not a fan of his but hard to ignore him since is blog in based in Chicago.

    Makes FO sound like fools. Don’t read it if you want to stay positive.


  11. Funny post Hale.

    Except it should be Alcoholic Anonymous on front of jersey.

    For us and Boozer.


  12. I love the Boozer pick up. Carlos is a bad NBA player who can’t play defense. This is exactly the kind of move the Lakers needed to make with Randle looking like a quality NBA rookie. This will limit Randle’s minutes and give him the perfect Tudor. A short NBA PF who had to learn to finish in the paint against longer PFs.


  13. rr–If the Boozer move (pun intended) had occurred in a vacuum (i.e., not drafting Randle, not paying so much for Hill, not signing Davis) it would at least be defensible on paper/financially. However, life doesn’t happen in a vacuum, so I agree with you 100%. I understand wanting depth, but LAL has sure put a lot of resources into non-star bodies at the 4-5, with serious talent questions remaining 1-3.

    By the way, those speculating about Randle and/orKelly playing the “3” as a way to spread out the bodies need to watch Randle’s outside shooting and look up Kelly’s dEff. numbers from last year. Randle as a 3 would provide no spacing. If he can’t consistently hit jumpers (which is the case so far) experienced NBA players will sag off and take away whatever off-the-dribble advantage he might possess. Kelly as a 3 might (maybe possibly) work on the offensive end, but Kelly was dismal at the 4 on D last year–he would get torched by 3’s because he doesn’t have the lateral quickness to hang there.


  14. Random Laker thoughts:

    -No one seems too interested in discussing this Jordan Clarkson guy. Is he good enough to make the regular 13 man rotation as the 3rd? pg behind Lin & Nash? Or will he be one of the guys dressed in a suit behind the bench until Nash has a health issue?

    -Although he’s a true veteran professional, I wonder how Boozer feels coming to the Lakers?

    -Would absolutely love to see a post on this site asking the FB&G fam what are they expecting from Kobe on the court this upcoming season. Because let’s face it, he’ll be the Laker’s best barometer for any type of success in 2014-2015.


  15. Clarkson seems like a young kevin martin …. a steal


  16. Frack kelly dwyer – a lot of guys are just getting on the front office and just killing our team in the media but frack them – just like abbott everyone is a laker hater because we have been the most successful team in the past 40-50 years and now everyone is trying to get their shots in – well guess what we still make the most money in the league , if you took away the russel celtics we have by far been the winningest franchise and as much as things are going so-so these past few years its only because we went for it all after the league screwed us – think when was the last time a trade was vetoed …only us, and we are now trying to recover from that and so far I think we are doing a great job

    Im more excited for this year than last, kobe is coming back, and no dantoni on the sidelines – who cares who they hire as a coach – a ham sandwhich could coach better than dantoni so they literally cannot lose


  17. Boozer pick is like the chris kamen pickup last off season. Chris kamen gave the Lakers at least 5 wins which took the Lakers out of getting a top 5 pick. He also played ahead of guys like kelly and sacre, guys who the Lakers should have developed more last year.

    Boozer will definitely have the same impact. He avg. 13.7 pts and 8.3 rebs last year. He’s not finished.
    He was only amnestied because bulls wanted to get rid of his cap hit and sign Gasol and mirotic. Funny. Lakers signed boozer who’s not young and will definitely take minutes from their top 7 pick, julius randle. Where’s the forward-thinking by the lakers?


  18. How bout this starting five: Bryant, Lin, Hill, Boozer, Young. Could easily happen opening night, coached by Byron Scott.

    I’m a fan and an optimist, but there’s no way to spin it: objectively speaking, that might be the worst defensive starting lineup in the Association. Hill rebounds well on the offensive glass; Boozer, for all his flaws, is still an above-average defensive rebounder. But that’s about it. No one who can stop penetration and no one who can protect the rim afterward. And no one fast enough to rotate on the wings to deny wide-open jumpers.

    The bench should have guys who can help. But there’ll be a lot of bleeding before they get in, I fear.


  19. Well I’m here to focus on Clarkson who is turning out to be a very good selection by Mitch. If the kid keeps developing he might even turn out to be a better pro than Randle. I have seen him play a couple of times in the Summer League and Clarkson can play.

    I see this kid and think wow if the Lakers were running the Triangle with this kid in the backcourt watchout, It could really workout because the kid can play the one as well as the 2. It would be shades of Kobe and Ron Harper again because the Triangle does not need true points guards as much as versatile combo guards and the Lakers might just have that if Clarkson can continue to develop and forge himself into a true NBA caliber player. So far all signs trend upwards. Clarkson has quietly moved into the top 10 on the NBA’s Rookie Ladder @ 8 and has some pretty good stats. The assist to turnover needs work as it was negative but he will improve that over the season. Besides the Triangle would take the burden off Clarkson and focuses more on shared approach to setting up and running the offense than one main PG orchestrating the O.

    Also, Clarkson’s play should be a positive for Randle if he is the player the Lakers think he is then he should take on the challenge and let it be known that Clarkson’s play is good for the team and all but I’m the Alpha dog. Let’s hope it gets him working and motivates him to form himself into an NBA All-Star caliber player. Like I said if he can learn to play an Mark Aguirre type game with a solid 15 to 18 foot jumper then “hey now” we just have something cooking here now.

    Regarding Boozer relax guys the Lakers know what they got in Boozer. Yes he is a below average defender but some of that is Boozer being lazy and we know KB24 will be calling him out on that. But he is above average offensive player with a good post game and a decent mid-range jumper. Plus Boozer is big and strong so he is a decent rebounder. Boozer is a good value due to his salary when compared to Gasol’s. It was not the best move but it helps and we need cap room to sign big name free agents. So let’s see what we got!


  20. @ G & other like minded FG&B posters, “Where’s the forward-thinking by the lakers?” Lakers unable to completely commit to future as long as team revolves around Kobe…but you know that.


  21. G

    Kind of like going out to buy a new car so you can plan for the future and coming home with a 1965 gas guzzler Camero which will cost you more for repairs.

    Car loss Boozer.


  22. Boozer was way overpaid at 16 mil.
    But at 3 mil? Not bad.
    I think Lakers felt he could add value and this pickup indicates they want to win a few games. And a nod to Kobe that it isn’t a “full rebuild.”
    Boozer isn’t gonna be around long so the younger guys won’t suffer too much. Besides, the jury’s not out yet on guys like Randle and Davis.
    At least Booze is a known, veteran quantity.
    Lastly it gives them flexibility moving forward in case of injury or to use one of the younger players as an asset in trade.


  23. Get your story straight. Do you want the Lakers to tank next year?…or do you want the Lakers to develop? Did you want a Pau sign-and-trade for Boozer?…or do you want the Lakers to pick him up ‘on the cheap’? There was a reason the Lakers and Bulls couldn’t come to an agreement to sign-and-trade Pau.

    Again, some of the reaction seems to be, “How can I twist the facts to fit my concept that the front office can’t do anything right?”

    The Lakers aren’t going to be a contender next year, but they are going to try to avoid the lottery – and not just to ‘screw’ the Suns. They are also going to have to put some veterans out on the floor, both to show the ticket-holders they can still play basketball and to avoid ‘crushing’ the young players who need to have some success to help their being overwhelmed. Boozer helps in both these situations.

    Incidentally, we now have Boozer at $3.5M, instead of $16M, simply because we waited until he was amnestied by the Bulls after they signed Pau. Sure we didn’t get a 1st round pick, but that pick would have been in the upper 20’s and we would have been as hamstrung by Boozer’s salary as we were by Pau’s last year. Also, there is the possibility of having a big in case we can trade someone else.

    Look at the big picture and this seems like a good move; not earth-shaking, but good.


  24. I love that both our draft choices are likely to make the team next year, based on merit and not on a lack of other talent. It is possible this will be our best draft in a very long time.


  25. I’m going to try to be positive about these moves:

    1. Lakers probably would not have made bottom 5, so no change to pick status.
    2. Boozer may be able to help the Lakers win a few more games and put them on the cusp of convincing one or two more good free agents to come onboard in 2015.
    3. Difference between Boozer and Randle is so dramatic, that free agents think it would be good to play with Randle.
    4. Other young guys like Hill, Kelly, Clarkson, and perhaps Henry and Johnson if signed, also develop and stand out, providing hope for the future and more incentive for good free agents.

    Taken together, Lakers win 30 games or so, pick up another one or two good free agents in 2015, improve some, then make a real push for big names in 2016.

    Or, the front office has some real magic up its sleeve — say a package for Westbrook right now? Or Bledsoe? Or someone else?


  26. I canceled my sports net so I have not been able to watch the summer league games. From what I have read so far, this Clarkson kid seems like a real deal. It’s about time Lakers get a break. Last couple years were just incredibly unlucky in every possible way, injuries, vetoed trade, Dwightmare…… Hopefully lakers can pick up couple more good players and at least put an entertaining team together.


  27. I dont know about us packaging players in a trade unless we sign guys to multi year contracts or get picks near the deadline – davis at 1 mil will be easier to trade than a 19 million pau but there os still no long term value flr thw acquiring team – we gotta hope for more clevelndesque hawes/deng trades happening


  28. Here are the problems with bringing in Boozer:

    1. While his counting stats are OK, his rate stats aren’t. They are dropping across the board and he is clearly in decline. And even at his peak, he was not a good defensive player. He is simply not a very good player and will be 33 in November.
    2. He provides no rim protection at all. He blocked 22 shots in 2141 minutes; Davis blocked 43 in 956 minutes.
    3. Hill is 27, and Davis is 25. So, they probably don’t really need a veteran around to tutor them or help them. What they do need is minutes.
    4. Between those two guys and Randle and Kelly, with Sacre thrown in for spot minutes, the frontcourt minutes would have been covered. If the Lakers want another body up front, it would have been better to bring in a guy for the minimum and spend the rest on a wing
    5. Buzz is that Boozer was hoping to clear waivers and sign with Houston. He probably does not want to play on a lottery team.
    6. Because they got him through the Amnesty process, the Lakers can’t trade him for a year.

    This move also suggests that Kobe is influencing the FO, although that is spec. But Kobe and Boozer share the same agent, and when Kobe has advocated for personnel moves before, he has usually done so for guys in their 30s that he thinks are gamers (Raja Bell, Matt Barnes, Steve Blake) so my guess is that Kobe is happy that Boozer is on the team.


  29. I don’t the Boozer hate at all. The guy is way better than 80% of other teams back ups (really you would prefer who exactly?). He comes in cheap. The only reason Chicago fans complained about him was because he cost the $17 million. This is a steal by the Lakers (who now have the best bench in the league. Funny how we just saw the Spur bench handle the Heat and yet we ignore the strength of a good bench. No we don’t have the same level starters that the Spurs have, but now we have a great bench.

    When teams go down with injuries the Lakers will either being rolling or have the assets to pick up 1st round picks. Don’t you guys get it. If some playoff team loses it primary back up big they will give the Lakers a 1 st round pick for one of (Davis, Kelly, or Hill). The Lakers just gave themselves a 1st round pick for paying $3 million of Boozer. You people seem to think that the NBA is a bubble. Trades and injuries happen. Lakers suffered 300+ games lost to injury. Who knows who will be healthy (on the Lakers or someone else). Being deep can get you a number of different assets. You do realize that a big trade like Love would require guys with big contracts (Nash and Hill, and yes that’s why I believe the Lakers paid Hill so much, so that he could be slotted into a team with a high salary slot. Davis gives the Lakers the ability to go the other way by having a low cost big. This is the smartest thing Lakers have done in a decade and most Laker fans can’t see it because they have no creativity what so ever. Flexibility and options! Lakers could literally go in a dozen different direction based on how the season plays out. We are set up beautifully and no one seems to have figured it out yet.


  30. At first, I confess, I was a bit mistified at the Boozer signing. (I am not a Carlos Boozer fan although I realize that he does still have something to offer — at least on offense.) But, after thinking about it, I think this makes sense on several levels.

    1) Julius Randle is fairly impressive…in Summer League. But he’s 19 years old (he turns 20 in November) and is probably not ready to start. Boozer will probably start and Randle will come off the bench and develop his game by banging against Boozer in practice for the next year. I see each player playing 24 minutes a game. If you think of it, this all makes sense. It’s a good move to make sure that Randle develops properly without having major minutes taken from him or having his head handed to him by Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge every night.

    2) The financial aspects of the acquisition are also good. The Lakers get Boozer for $3.25 million, Chicago pays the other $13 mill, and the Lakers give Boozer a 1-year contract. That makes sense, too. In fact, it’s fairly clever. They got a player who can give them 14 / 8 for $3 mill a year…on a one-year contract. Not bad.

    For those who have been crying for a plan, this is what I see. The Lakers are moving away from the Mike D’Antoni philosophy (get a 3-point shooting 4, stretch the floor, shoot 28 3’s a game, etc.) and are becoming more power-oriented in their front line — Jordan Hill, Ed Davis, Carlos Boozer, Julius Randle. There’s not a stretch 4 among them. But they’re all strong rebounders. And, for the most part, they all bang. They thrive in the paint. Don’t be surprised if Ryan Kelly is not re-signed. There seems to be a definite pattern here. And Kelly might be the odd man out.

    Also, the Lakers are not finished. They need a SF (or 2). Will they sign Evan Turner? Will they bring back Xavier Henry? Let’s see what they come up with. I sense they’ll try to go with someone young and fairly athletic if possible.

    Finally, I like Jordan Clarkson. The day before the NBA draft I predicted that Clarkson could be one of the rookies who could surprise. So far, so good. Let’s see how he develops. I think the Lakers may have gotten a winner in Jordan Clarkson.


  31. Mid-W: Right after the draft I predicted that Clarkson would be a steal. I was elated that he fell in the draft and we were able to buy a first round talent with a second round pick. His all around game is very solid, with excellent athleticism. His ability to change speeds and directions away from ball pressure is probably the skill that I find most impressive and predictive of real NBA talent.

    ps. Nice post.


  32. Laker fan in Raptorland July 18, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    As per Kendall Marshall waived today.


  33. I don’t like Boozer either but I understand what they are doing. They got the best PF available and for a steal. Chicago is still footing the bill for that guy. The Lakers only have to pay 3 mill. If someone offered you a car that cost $800 a month and said you only had to pay $85, would you turn them down. I doubt it.


  34. mid-wilshire you are right, i’ve been seeing this theme as well.

    we are briging back a gritty lowblock/penetration style of play.



  35. Isn’t that the kind of team Detroit had last year? And look where they ended up.


  36. I think Jordan Clarkson will be the next superstar after Kobe is gone. a little mamba in the making..
    that is my prediction.


  37. Hi, i think he can be a 2 string PG-at least, Under one year of Nash and Kobe, he will get better, and he is already better then Marshall,