Grading Jordan Clarkson’s Four-Year Deal With the Jazz

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Jordan Clarkson is staying put. The microwavey guard signed a four-year deal with the Jazz on Friday, his agent Rich Paul told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Clarkson’s deal will be worth $52 million. Utah acquired the streaky scorer from Cleveland in a midseason trade. Clarkson scored 15.6 points per game for the Jazz in a bench role, shooting a solid 36.6% from three. Let’s grade the deal.

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) brings the ball up court against Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) during the first half of game seven of the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs

Grade: B

This is about the going rate for a bench scorer of Clarkson’s ilk. His ability to heat up will give him value for his entire career. While Utah struggled on defense with Clarkson during the postseason, he will soak up valuable minutes throughout the year. The Jazz’s offense was 5.8 points per 100 possessions better with Clarkson on the floor in 2020, according to Basketball Reference. The 28-year-old also shot a fairly robust 40.2% on catch-and-shoot three-pointers, though he’s not often playing off the ball.

For Clarkson, the four years offer nice security after some bouncing around the last three seasons. The risk from a team standpoint is Utah is built on its defensive identity, and Clarkson doesn’t greatly help in that regard. He’s incredibly valuable on the bench, but if he’s ever called upon to move into the starting lineup, he’s not a clean fit with Donovan Mitchell. It stops the signing from being a no-doubt home run, but it’s far from problematic. The Jazz had lots of issues in their first-round series against the Nuggets, but it’s fair to note the team was 12.6 points per 100 possessions better with Clarkson on the bench.

Ultimately, the Jazz kept a player entering his prime who has flashed significant scoring potential. However the roster is configured around Mitchell in the coming years, the bench will at the very least have a contributor who will work in any system. 

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