To tip-off this mini-series, I had to start with Utah Jazz combo guard Jordan Clarkson.
Jordan Clarkson has been an NBA journeyman since his selection out of the University of Missouri in 2014. Despite his frequent change of scenery, Clarkson demonstrates nightly that the one constant in his career is his ability to put the ball in the peach basket.
Clarkson has a wide variety of moves in his bag, a respectable jumper, and the athleticism to mesh with his skill and create a lethal assassin when the ball is in his hands.
Clarkson is a piece that makes the 20-win, 5-loss Utah Jazz a force to be reckoned with and a legitimate threat to the Lakers’ repeat.
What’s changed? And what value does he add to his team?
So, you may be wondering, if Clarkson possessed this ability for so long, why did it take until now for him to finally become a front-runner for Sixth Man of the Year?
Opportunity and fit.
The current setup of the Utah Jazz is a glass slipper that fits on Clarkson’s game.
Clarkson gives you instant scoring, and the Jazz desperately need shot creation on their second unit.
Also, Clarkson’s athleticism and commitment to the game allowed him to grow substantially on defense, and because of that growth, he’s seen high value minutes in the rotation.
Receiving a golden opportunity to play within the comforts of his game has taken Clarkson to new heights.
Clarkson is averaging a career-best 17.5 points per game and 4.4 rebounds per game on 46.3 percent from the field, 38.7 percent from three, and a blistering 97.2 percent from the line.
This level of production should garner him All-Star consideration. Remember, I said “consideration.” not an All-Star spot.
Clarkson is playing at an All-Star level—and I plan to start the Jordan Clarkson #NBAAllStar movement with this post— but, due to external factors such as fan and player voting, and the productive seasons of other guards in the west, I don’t think he will get the nod.
If Clarkson’s production withstands the marathon of the NBA season, there is no doubt in my mind that he will be the Sixth Man of the Year for the—currently—first-seeded Jazz.
Clarkson is the top dog in the Sixth Man of the Year award race, but that doesn’t mean he’s running unopposed.
Stay locked into District of Buckets for more on the Sixth Man award race, and take a look at the latest episode of Fantasy Basketball – This Week for more updates around the NBA.
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