Luke Walton hoping Jordan Clarkson can fill Lamar Odom-type role for Lakers
In his first season as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Luke Walton wants to throw it back to the days when he used to play for the team.
On Saturday, Walton commented on Jordan Clarkson’s role for the coming season, drawing a comparison to the way the Lakers brought Lamar Odom off the bench in the past.
Luke Walton compared Jordan Clarkson coming off the bench to Lamar Odom: "It's like mixing a starter with the second unit."
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 8, 2016
Clarkson has indeed come off the bench in both of the team’s preseason games so far with Walton appearing to be committed to having former Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams in the starting lineup. It’s a strategy that’s at least worth a try given Clarkson’s advantage over Williams in creating offense for others. It’s also one with a noted track record of success as Walton observed with Odom during their time as teammates on the Lakers. After being a starter for virtually his entire NBA career to that point, Odom was brought off the bench from the 2008-09 season onwards and not only earned his own Sixth Man of the Year Award out of it but helped the team capture back-to-back championships in that role as well.
While title aspirations are pretty far out of the grasp of the Lakers this season, Walton will be hoping to create a similar impact by having Clarkson, the third-year guard, carry the second unit. Breaking up The Swag Bros will be difficult, but Walton will still have the option of closing out games with Clarkson on the floor, so it should be a viable capacity for the 24-year-old to function in.