Danny Ainge and the Utah Jazz are not done dealing. Rudy Gobert is in Minnesota, Donovan Mitchell is in Cleveland, and now every other Jazz veteran is on the trade block: Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley, Malik Beasley.
Whatever happens, Clarkson told Complex that he is ready for it.
“Honestly, we’ll see. I’m ready for whatever happens. I’ve been in the league for nine years now. I’m kind of a young vet in this. So, whatever direction management, owners, and the team are trying to go, I’m ready for it. If I’m in a different jersey in a week or tomorrow I get a phone call and I have to put on whatever jersey it is, I’m just trying to win and take whatever team it is to the next level to hopefully win a championship one day. That’s my outlook on it. If I’m here in Utah, I want to win. I want to strive for the playoffs, try to put a team together that could win something.”
That’s the attitude of an NBA veteran who understands this is a business and at times he has no control. The Jazz are going to trade him to the team that gives them the best package of draft picks back (probably multiple seconds, although Ainge will push for a first-rounder), and that could be anywhere. Clarkson is set to make $13.3 million this season and has a player option for $14.3 million next season, a very tradable deal. The former Sixth Man of the Year averaged 16 points a game last season and has a clearly defined NBA role as a scorer off the bench — a role that would help several teams.
In the interview, Clarkson also addressed those Lakers fans who would have preferred — or at least wonder — what would have happened if Los Angeles had kept the core of Clarkson, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle and DeAngelo Russell together.
“I don’t think it ever was going to work with all of us being there. [Laughs.] I think we all were stars in our own right. Us separating and going into our home lanes was a good change of scenery for everybody. I see the tweets and all that stuff. It’s so funny to look back on it. I think the Lakers did a great job of scouting us, finding the talent, and giving us the opportunity by drafting us. But us all being on the same team, I don’t think it ever would’ve worked out. We probably wouldn’t have brought a championship back to them or none of that, you know what I mean?”
The Lakers traded many of those players to land Anthony Davis, who was at the heart of the Lakers 2020 title.
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Jordan Clarkson on potential trade: ‘I’m ready for whatever happens’ originally appeared on NBCSports.com