Yes, Clarkson could become trade chip for Cavaliers

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Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson is one of the top bench scorers in the NBA and has a contract worth $13.4 million next season.

But it also an expiring contract in 2021 and anyone who follows pro basketball knows what that means.

It means Clarkson will be a valuable trade asset, perhaps as soon as the end of the season. Or just before next season. Or at the very least, at next year's trade deadline in early February.

Does that mean the Cavs will trade Clarkson? No. By all accounts, they are far from determined to do so.

Still, this is a year when flipping the roster for upgrades is the rally cry. So if someone else decides they want Clarkson's expiring deal ... and the Cavs decide that someone else can offer them fair (or increased) value for Clarkson ... well, then yes, he could be moved.

On this team, just about anyone could.

"Given his age, talent level, experience and contract, he will be one of the team’s most valuable trade chips," Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com wrote in his weekly reader mailbag. "He’s currently the second-leading scorer on the team and NBA’s third-leading scorer among reserves. Next year, the Cavs will have to determine if the value they can return for him in a trade outweighs what he brings on the court.

"They will also have to figure out if he’s the kind of player worth committing to for the long haul, as the Lakers immediately had buyer’s remorse after giving him a lucrative contract."

Clarkson, 26, has been one of the real bright spots in this otherwise lost season of roster overhaul and preparing to play the draft lottery. He is averaging 17.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 60 games. That includes 45-percent shooting from the floor and 84 percent on free throws.

"If the Cavs find the right deal, they will move him before he becomes an unrestricted free agent," Fedor wrote. "If they were to re-sign him prior to the season ... the Cavs would lose a trade asset."

Basically, just like nearly every other player on the Cavaliers, stay tuned when it comes to Clarkson.