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Jazz execs reveal why they traded for Jordan Clarkson

Jazz, Jordan Clarkson

Utah Jazz executive vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey and general manager Justin Zanik knew they had to upgrade the Jazz’s bench if the team was going to make a deep playoff run this season, which is why they traded for shooting guard Jordan Clarkson from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Along with acquiring Clarkson, the Jazz waived small forward Jeff Green and signed Rayjon Tucker to a guaranteed deal for the remainder of the season.

Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune talked with Lindsey and Zanik about the Clarkson trade:

“We could feel that the starters were being stretched. … As the team started to form, we started to see some of the challenges that we had scoring with the second unit,” Lindsey said. “It certainly became a priority.

“That timing dictated where we’re at. The one piece of the evaluation that we feel like is incomplete is, obviously, getting Mike (Conley) integrated in, with now two hamstring injuries. You know, we feel like there was a little bit of a gap in knowing who we really are and our arc for improvement. But we still felt like the bench scoring was so challenged that we needed to address it. … When Mike got hurt, we had to kind of speed up the evaluation and become a little bit urgent.”

Jordan Clarkson made his Jazz debut on Thursday against the Portland Trail Blazers. He played 20 minutes and finished with nine points on 4-of-12 shooting from the field and 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. The Jazz defeated the Blazers to improve to 19-12. They are in sixth place in the Western Conference standings.

It’s going to take time for Clarkson to learn the Jazz’s offensive system and develop chemistry with his new teammates. Clarkson, though, will be a good volume scorer for the Jazz off their bench once he gets comfortable in Utah.