Right on cue, the Philadelphia 76ers have begun exploring potential bench upgrades via trade. Their top priority right now? Jordan Clarkson.
According to Sports Illustrated’s NBA Insider Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops), the Sixers have expressed “high interest” in the 27-year-old combo guard. The Sixers are a team that are obviously looking to contend, and with that upgrades will need to be made to their below-average bench (26th in scoring).
On the other side of things, Clarkson’s current team: the Cleveland Cavaliers, are a team destined to be in lottery pick contention again. Their front office will be looking to move any and all players not in their future plans in order to gain draft capital.
Clarkson is a scorer. His career average sits at 14.7ppg and since moving to the Cavs his average has jumped up to 15.5. Seeing as he’s been on two pretty horrible teams so far in his career (Lakers being the other), there’s even been times when Clarkson is the primary scorer on his team. This leaves him with a pretty special “shot-creator” skill set that would work extremely well as a 6th man.
If the Sixers were to pull off a trade for the 6’ 4” guard, he would most likely slot into the rotation as one of Brett Brown’s first bench options. He can handle the basketball as a backup PG, while also being able to spot up as a shooter out on the wing (currently shooting 35% from beyond the arc this season).
The biggest thing that should interest you with Clarkson is his effectiveness when he played with a true ball distributor (Lebron James in 2017-2018). Clarkson became an elite perimeter threat, shooting 40.7% from three that season with an eFG% of 53.3%, both career highs. Playing next to guys like Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris could simulate that same effect.
If you’ve been following my Sixers coverage up to this point, you’ll know that I’m big on the 76ers acquiring someone before the trade deadline. Korkmaz has been a below-average option off the bench, and the Sixers have a strong farm system that can be used to acquire shooters. Making a move for a guy on an expiring deal like Clarkson might be just what the doctor ordered for Philly.
Potential Trade Package
76ers Receive: G Jordan Clarkson
Cavaliers Receive: G Zhaire Smith, F Jonah Bolden, 2nd Round Pick
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports