One way or another, Jordan Clarkson is the key to the Zach LaVine situation

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (Chris Nicoll - USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (Chris Nicoll - USA TODAY Sports) /

The Utah Jazz may be interested in Zach LaVine but their interest will solely depend on Jordan Clarkson.

The Utah Jazz are having a rough start to the season. Despite playoff hopes, the team is just 4-7 and has only managed to beat the worst teams in the league so far. They need better scoring, a more coherent set of point guards, and a reliable second option to Lauri Markkanen.

Enter Jordan Clarkson, who at his best, can be that second option to Marrkkanen. Yet, for the most part, Clarkson has been trying to shoot more than the star of the team and it’s caused the offense to sputter, stop, and at times fall apart due to Clarkson’s selfish approach to the game.

The Jazz need help on offense, and heck, they need help on defense, especially with Clarkson on the court. So the idea of trading for someone like Zach LaVine makes total sense. The only question that persists there is whether or not the team would be getting a massive upgrade at the position.

If Clarkson keeps playing as well as he has over the last few games, then no. The Jazz should not make any trades to land LaVine. We’re not saying that a more consistent Clarkson means the Jazz are going to win it all and doesn’t need to make trades, but what we are saying is that the Jazz don’t need to rush for a trade; like they may have to do with LaVine.

LaVine is not the perfect option for the Jazz, he’s just an available option. He’s the last person in school that you kinda-sorta-like, and you know if you ask to the dance, will say yes. He’s by no means the crush you were hoping beyond hope to go with.

And right now, if the Jazz keep playing better on offense with Clarkson and Markkanen leading the way, then the Jazz would be wise to refrain from trading for LaVine.

Historically, LaVine is “better” than Clarkson but only by so much. And in a lot of ways, LaVine has the type of stats that Clarkson would have if he were featured as the primary player on a team.

LaVine has a shooting split of .463/.382/.834 for his career, with 20 points, four rebounds, and about four assists per game, along with a defensive box plus-minus of -1.4

Clarkson has a career shooting split of .440/.340/.826, with 16 points per game, three rebounds, and just shy of two assists per game, with a defensive box plus-minus of -1.6.

So if Clarkson is playing like he should be, LaVine isn’t the answer. If Clarkson continues to struggle, however, and the Jazz feel they can make the playoffs this year, then LaVine will be the answer. What’s a bit funny is that in either scenario, the Jazz will rely on Clarkson.

Either Clarkson will outplay his past month’s self and become more reliable, or the Jazz will send him over in the deal to get Clarkson. Either way, the future of the Jazz will be determined by Clarkson. For better or for worse.

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