The LA Lakers have too many contractual situations to deal with. While five members of their 2019-20 roster are out of a contract, another five have a player option to mull over. Besides this, the Purple and Gold are also expected to recruit external free agents to fortify their team. The latest NBA rumors suggest that they have zeroed in on five names, including former player Jordan Clarkson.
NBA Rumors: LA Lakers interested in Jordan Clarkson among other free agents
Given that Anthony Davis is expected to re-sign and LeBron James is already on the books, the LA Lakers won't have too much room to trade for stars. They lack the needed cap space to absorb extra salary and the multiple small-sized contracts mean that they'll have to move many players in order to land anyone on a max deal.
As such, free agency remains the biggest tool for the LA Lakers who'll have the bi-annual exception and mid-level exception at their disposal. As per ESPN's Bobby Marks, the franchise may already have its shortlist ready. He reported:
"Some names to keep an eye on with the Lakers’ $9.3 million midlevel and $3.6 million bi-annual exceptions — including their own free agents Markieff Morris and Dwight Howard — are Jeff Teague, D.J. Augustin, Jordan Clarkson, Maurice Harkless and Nerlens Noel."
Jordan Clarkson to rejoin LA Lakers?
Among the five names mentioned by Bobby Marks, Jordan Clarkson is clearly the most interesting one. A second-round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Clarkson started his NBA career with the LA Lakers. He spent three and a half seasons with the Purple and Gold before moving to Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018 where he played with LeBron James.
Clarkson was acquired by Utah Jazz via trade last season and he had a huge impact on them. He averaged 15.6 points on 46.2% shooting in the 42 games he played for the Jazz. The LA Lakers have been looking for a volume scorer off the bench and Jordan Clarkson could be that guy.