2014 NBA Redraft: 16. Jordan Clarkson, Chicago Bulls
Every so often, the NBA is introduced to a player with irrational confidence in their abilities on the court. Time and place don’t matter to these guys. They’re going to play their brand of basketball until the buzzer sounds.
Since he entered the league, Jordan Clarkson’s swagger has helped turn him into a productive scorer for multiple teams. Given his journey to the NBA, it’s hard not to understand where the incredible self-confidence comes from. Clarkson spent two seasons at the University of Tulsa before transferring to the University of Missouri. Following his Junior season, he entered the 2014 Draft, where he was the 46th overall pick by the Lakers.
After a successful stint in LA during which he emerged as a bonafide scorer, Clarkson was shipped to Cleveland where, before enduring a lot of losing, he got his first taste of playoff basketball in 2018.
Another trade landed him in Salt Lake to help bolster a deficient Jazz bench. He needed half a season to acclimate, but Clarkson has since blossomed into the favorite to win Sixth Man of the Year in his first full season in Utah with a career-high in points on a team with the league’s top record.
Going from a little-hyped combo guard to earning north of $10 million a year requires some cockiness. Clarkson has at times frustrated both coaches and fans with his tunnel vision, but his teams have slowly understood how to funnel that mindset towards a positive contribution.
In the last four seasons, Clarkson has made just four starts. Only once in his career has he averaged more than 30 minutes a night.
It’s a limiting role, but his current run with the Jazz is proving that it does not lack in value. And if Clarkson continues his current level of play, it won’t lack in hardware either.