Utah Jazz swingman Jordan Clarkson was fresh off an impressive performance in his first campaign with the team in the latter half of the 2019-2020 NBA season. The former Missouri Tiger produced 15.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists on a career-best 46.2% field goal shooting through 42 games played for the team ever since coming in a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers which involved Dante Exum and two future second-round draft picks back in 2019.
He eventually found a spot on the team as he served as the team’s third-leading scorer following the trade, stepping up in Mike Conley’s absence. After a productive campaign, the Jazz organization has made it known that they are high on keeping the Florida native at the helm for the future. Despite his immense contributions, he was essentially a one-year rental for the Jazz and is heading to test the market as an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.
Having the experience of playing alongside two of the game’s greatest players in the late Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers and Lebron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers certainly helped Clarkson’s ability to live up to high-pressure situations. With his prolific scoring abilities and upside, every team will benefit if they have a player like Clarkson on their rosters.
Here are the top three landing spots for Jordan Clarkson:
3. Phoenix Suns
Everyone knew that the clock is ticking for the subpar Phoenix Suns who have a budding star in All-Star guard Devin Booker. Their continued failure may probably cause the former Kentucky standout to explore other options when he becomes a free agent in 2024.
Despite the recent struggles, they are coming off an unexpected run for the eighth seed in the 2019-2020 season but ultimately fell short even after an undefeated string of games in the Orlando Bubble. After barely missing out on the last playoff seat with a 34-39 record, their most recent campaign was a huge step for the organization.
With a glimmer of hope, the team is looking to continue to build around the pairing of All-Star shooting guard Devin Booker and big man DeAndre Ayton. Enter Jordan Clarkson in the picture. He can essentially come in as the third piece to complement the duo’s budding chemistry. His ability to create shots for himself is similar to Booker’s playing style and can also serve as a sparkplug when relieving the former Kentucky standout.
2. Detroit Pistons
Motor City recently parted ways with a reliable contributor in Reggie Jackson to the Los Angeles Clippers halfway through last season after a contract buyout agreement. His productive tally of 14.9 points and 5.1 assists per game were evidently missed by the team after letting him walk away.
The Detroit Pistons eventually ended up with a dismal 20-46 record to place in the 13th spot of the Eastern Conference. With what is going to be a rebuilding trajectory for the team in the coming years, a handful of playoff contenders are expected to be in the mix to secure the services of lead guard Derrick Rose in the upcoming offseason.
This leaves a window for Jordan Clarkson to ease into a large role with the Pistons needing a reliable scorer to pair with six-time All-Star forward Blake Griffin. In the case the team looks to go on a fire sale and trade away Griffin, Clarkson can even attempt to step up to be the new main man on the team. He will get the green light to shoot as many shots as he prefers on a team filled with young guys.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
Despite having significant talent on their roster, the team saw little success in recent seasons which prompted them to head in a different direction sans Andrew Wiggins. In February of 2020, the 2014 Rookie of the Year along with two draft picks were dealt to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Jacob Evans, D’Angelo Russell, and Omari Spellman.
The trade reunited big man Karl Anthony-Towns with his long-time pal in Russell. With the former Ohio State Buckeye coming over in the latter stages of the 2019-2020 season, the Wolves still failed to mount a playoff push and ended with a disappointing 19-45 record to nab the 14th spot in the Western Conference.
Outside of the two, the team clearly needs a handful of reliable complementary guys to fit in their system. The scoring prowess of Jordan Clarkson can provide a much-needed boost that will allow the Timberwolves to create a more high-octane offensive attack. With his potential arrival and a couple of All-Star caliber players at the helm, the Timberwolves can finally hope to return to relevance once again for the first time since the Kevin Love era.