The glory days of Kobe and Phil may seem like ages ago, but a quick peek at a calendar reminds you that it really was only three years ago that the Lakers sat at top of the NBA pyramid. But my, oh my, how things have changed. The roster doesn’t look good, the future isn’t looking all that bright, and we still don’t have a coach. So, how did we get here? Let’s take a step-by-step look at just how things went so sour so quickly for the Lakers, starting with the end of the Phil era.
Earlier in the day Friday the Lakers waived Kendall Marshall, simultaneously creating some cap space but also creating an extra roster spot to fill. The team wasted little time in filling Marshall’s vacated spot, and more, inking some familiar faces to contracts:
The Lakers are not done making moves, apparently. In an effort to open up a sliver of cap space (more on this in a minute), the team has moved on from the Kendall Marshall era (at least in the short term):
Lakers waiving guard Kendall Marshall, but have interest in bringing him back on a new deal if he clears waivers, league sources tell Yahoo.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 18, 2014
Marshall’s salary for this upcoming season — $915,243 — was not guaranteed, so the Lakers take no hit for waiving Marshall and open up that amount of cap space. This may not seem important, but, in reality, it was a needed move if the team wants to keep Ryan Kelly while also signing Nick Young to his reported deal.
If you follow me on twitter, you know how I feel about this particular player by now. If you don’t, well, just know I am not a fan.
But this isn’t about me, it is about the player the Lakers just signed to a one year, $3.251 million (that extra 10K was tacked on a la a Price Is Right bid) contract via the amnesty waiver claim on Thursday. So, yes, Carlos Boozer is a Laker.
I’ll save the negativity for later, so if that’s what you came for just scroll down a bit.
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.