Jordan Clarkson will have an important decision to make in August when NBA free agency starts, as all signs point to the nine-year veteran declining his $14.3 million player option for the 2023-24 season.
Not that the decision means that Clarkson will leave.
Coming off of a career season when he averaged 20.8 points game, Clarkson could simply want to seize the moment and secure a long-term contract. Especially at 31-years-old, as this summer may present him with the best possible opportunity to sign a lucrative deal.
That said, as the Jazz will hold Clarkson’s Bird Rights, they have the ability to sign him to a larger and longer contract than any other team. So, if money is the major motivation for the 2021 Sixth Man of the Year, Utah will have every chance to bring him back.
However, amid rumors of the Los Angeles Lakers having interest in bringing him back, Clarkson could leave the Jazz for a much different reason.
For one, Clarkson — who played with the Lakers for the first three and a half seasons of his career — simply fits in with the Southern California culture. Secondly, though L.A. has had notable struggles as of late, they’re a championship-caliber team any season that LeBron James is there. Every true competitor wants to win a championship, especially as they get older.
That said, Clarkson’s latest comments sound like a player not discussing a return to Utah but advertising himself for a new team (per Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports).
“You know, for me, I know what it is—it’s the business… I’ve been a part of this business for a long time now, I guess. Nine years, about to go on to 10 after this next. You know, I’m willing to, you know, do whatever is asked of me.”
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