Report: Lakers interested in Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly have some interest in Utah Jazz veterans Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson.

It has also been reported that the Lakers have interest in Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who is entering the final season of his contract.

A possible swap for Conley could include Russell Westbrook and a first-round pick, although the Lakers would have to carry some of Conley’s salary in the 2023-24 season, as his deal is partially guaranteed.

The Jazz traded three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell on Thursday to the Cleveland Cavaliers, signaling that the team is entering a rebuilding phase. With Rudy Gobert already shipped off to Minnesota earlier this offseason, the Jazz appear to be interested in getting any assets they can for Conley, Clarkson and Bogdanovic.

Why the Laker should target Clarkson

Clarkson, who began his career with the Lakers, won the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award in the 2020-21 season. A second-round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Clarkson had a solid season in the 2021-22 campaign, as he averaged 16.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 41.9 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from beyond the arc.

He does have a player option for the 2023-24 season at $14.26 million, but that is a deal the Lakers could likely trade next offseason if they prefer to have the cap space to chase a star player in free agency.

Why Conley would be a better fit than Westbrook

Conley is likely a better fit for the Lakers than Westbrook, as he isn’t as ball dominant and is a better outside shooter, but it’s worth noting that he is coming off a rough offensive season by his standards.

Conley had his worst scoring season since the 2011-12 campaign, averaging just 13.7 points per game, but he did shoot 40.8 percent from beyond the arc. He could be a nice complement to Patrick Beverley in the Lakers’ guard rotation.

If Los Angeles wants to avoid taking on any salary for the 2023-24 season, Conley may not be the best bet as his salary is partially guaranteed, while Westbrook is a free agent following the 2022-23 season.

Los Angeles has been linked to several players this offseason, and it appears the Lakers will exhaust any option to improve the supporting cast alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis to compete for a title this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.