Jordan Clarkson was among the players who stepped up when the Cleveland Cavaliers lost Kevin Love to injury earlier in the 2018-19 NBA season. In 60 games, the 26-year-old Filipino-American guard is averaging 17.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists on 44.5 percent shooting from the field and 33.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Though his effort was not enough to help the Cavaliers rise to the top of the Eastern Conference, Clarkson proved to be one of the best players in Cleveland right now. However, recently, rumors and speculation have been circulating about Clarkson's future with the Cavaliers.
The February NBA trade deadline may have passed with Clarkson remaining on the Cavaliers' roster, but it does not give him any guarantee that they consider him as part of their long-term plan. In his recent article, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com answered a fan, asking why the Cavaliers don't consider Clarkson as a core player despite his impressive performance in the 2018-19 NBA season.
Fedor explained that Jordan Clarkson's contract makes him more valuable for the Cavaliers as a trade asset. Like what they did to some of their veterans like Kyle Korver, George Hill, Alec Burks, and Rodney Hood, Fedor opened up the possibility that the Cavaliers could be tempted to trade Clarkson "for a draft pick or two."
"Given his age, talent level, experience and contract, he will be one of the team's most valuable trade chips. 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."If the Cavaliers don't any interest in giving Jordan Clarkson a long-term contract, trading him before the next year's February NBA trade deadline will be their best option, rather than losing him an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020 without getting anything in return. Clarkson is arguably a much better player than the veterans the Cavaliers previously traded. Several NBA teams who will be needing a reliable scoring option in their second unit won't think twice before sending precious trade assets to the Cavaliers for Clarkson.
Jordan Clarkson may not have publicly said it, but at this point in his NBA career, he will likely love to play for a legitimate playoff contender than staying on a rebuilding team like the Cavaliers. Expect more rumors to circulate around Clarkson in the 2019 NBA offseason.