Even before Los Angeles Lakers' head coach Luke Walton moved Filipino-American starting point guard Jordan Clarkson off the bench last weekend, the "most consistent perimeter defender" of the team had been rumored to be traded for Chicago Bulls' shooting guard Jimmy Butler. It was said to be a 2-for-1 exchange with Butler being traded for Clarkson and Julius Randle.
Now, the trade would likely not happen since Clarkson, after he was reduced to the bench, could possibly leave the team. However, the reports saying the 24-year-old NBA All-Rookie First Team player being unhappy with the head coach's move are conflicting.
Jordan Clarkson's New Role
As reported by Inquisitr, Walton stressed that Clarkson's move to the bench is not a demotion but to strengthen the Lakers' second unit. In the Lakers' website, the head coach compared Clarkson's new role to that of Lamar Odom and Manu Ginobili. The two Sixth Man of the Year awardees were nevertheless considered critical pieces of multiple championship teams after they were moved to the bench.
"It's really a way of getting a starter in with the second unit so you don't have a lot of drop-off. But he's very good at that role so far," Watson explained.
Lack Of Money To Pay 2 Starting Quality Point Guards?
However, Headlines & Global News reported that Clarkson was "running out of fortune" based on speculations that he is on the way out of the team. Other rumors said his move to the bench is for the attention of the team to be focused on D'Angelo Russell. But even Russell is not spared from speculations since their trade is allegedly because of the team's lack of big money to pay two starting quality point guards.
Besides the first rumor involving Butler, another rumor stated that the deal would have Clarkson going to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the Lakers to acquire one of the team's big men, either Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel.
Walton belied the rumors that Clarkson is unhappy, citing that the point guard averaged 13.5 points in 20 minutes play through two exhibitions as proof of Clarkson embracing his new role.