No one is safe in the current Los Angeles Lakers roster, according to Magic Johnson, which apparently meant the team is ready to lose even the hardworking Jordan Clarkson. At the same time, Johnson seems undecided on adding Lonzo Ball to the lineup and remains ready to explore other options like De'Aaron Fox.
Even as UCLA star Ball has already made clear that he wanted to be a Laker and has already begged off on working out with the Boston Celtics, which enjoys the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft, an LA slot is yet to be secured for him. Talented as he is, the word on the street is Lonzo Ball could be falling out favor as far Lakers are concerned, Bleacher Report said.
"There is a growing sense that unless Lonzo absolutely blows the doors off, he may not be the Lakers' guy," the report said. Johnson is reportedly bent on checking out other candidates before deciding on the Ball acquisition. The Lakers basketball operations chief could consider talking to Kansas forward Josh Jackson and Kentucky guard Fox.
The latter is no doubt ready to impress with his athleticism and incredible speed, key elements that seem more important to Johnson, who has a task of rebuilding a Lakers crew that only managed to disappoint in the last four regular seasons. Johnson is gunning to assemble a championship caliber team and he seems convinced Ball is not the key to the door he wants to open for his team that has been on the decline.
And the same applies for the other Lakers. Magic recently said when LA is to start implementing roster changes only one man is safe from the axe. And that would be Brandon Ingram.
The statement further fueled speculation that LA is shopping around and ready to trade the good Laker soldier that is Clarkson. Sure Clarkson is a solid player with solid and consistent numbers but dangling him to interested teams would also mean one big thing, that "Clarkson could command a solid return," Bleacher Report said.
It appears too that the plan to swap Clarkson is connected to the rumor that soon the Indiana Pacers will let go of Paul George and send him to Los Angeles. In preparation, the Lakers will need to make the move and take advantage of the high value that Clarkson commands. The idea is to obtain the talents that will best fit a future Lakers lineup with George and Ingram as the core, and possibly D'Angelo Russell.
But according to the Lakers Nation, shipping out a solid performer and team player like Clarkson will turn out a huge mistake for Johnson. For one, the Lakers will stand to lose an element of consistency that Clarkson dutifully supplied even as the rest of the team turned in sorry performances.
"In an era where many players sit out to rest or with minor injuries, and thus are lucky to appear in 65 games, Clarkson has been an ironman, enduring the rigors of three full seasons without missing a beat. No one else of importance on the Lakers roster has come close," the report said.
Lakers Nation further argued that a trade involving Clarkson might be justified if the end is for the team to boost its standing "but trading him for any other reason is very likely to prove disastrous."