LOS ANGELES – As the host of his own summer camp, Jordan Clarkson served as the main attraction for children eager to meet and interact with the Lakers’ fourth-year guard. That changed when Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson directed the camp on Wednesday with the same authority that defined his time as point guard for the “Showtime” Lakers of the 1980s.
“Magic talked about a lot. He told the kids to put the time in and continue to work,” Clarkson recalled on Thursday. “It was great to see him here.”
Clarkson seemed relaxed at the Heart of Los Angeles, where he held his second camp of this offseason as his foundation and East West Bank provided scholarships to 50 children from underserved communities. However relaxed he might be, the Lakers’ frenetic offseason moves have and could continue to affect Clarkson on several levels.
First, the move that did not happen: in June, the Lakers offered Clarkson or fourth-year forward Julius Randle and their No. 27 and 28 picks to Indiana for Paul George. The Pacers declined before trading him to Oklahoma City for guard Victor Oladipo and center Domantas Sabonis.
“The only thing I can worry about in terms of stuff like that and trade rumors is myself and continue to work,” Clarkson said. “If I were to be traded, I just have to be ready to play. But I’m here in L.A. and am ready for the season. I’m excited.”
Second, the moves that did happen: the Lakers traded third-year guard D’Angelo Russell to Brooklyn while dumping salary (Timofey Mozgov’s three year, $48 million deal), acquiring a center (Brook Lopez) and collecting another first-round draft pick (No. 27, later used on Utah junior forward Kyle Kuzma). The Lakers also drafted UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball at No. 2 and signed shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, both of whom are likely to start while Clarkson and recently re-signed Tyler Ennis come off the bench.
“My role changes a little bit,” Clarkson said….