Jordan Clarkson may have value for the Utah Jazz off the bench

Jordan Clarkson isn't a starter but that doesn't mean he doesn't have value.
Utah Jazz v Toronto Raptors
Utah Jazz v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz have not seen the best version of Jordan Clarkson this season. The 10-year pro is posting career lows in field goal percentage (40.6%) and three-point shooting (30.7%), while shooting the ball the third-most times per game in his career. He's tied for the most turnovers per game and has the worst defensive box plus-minus of his career (-3.3).

His poor play on both sides of the court has seen him produce a BPM of -4.5, and his play was clearly holding the Jazz back. At least, that is his play as a starter. Clarkson is a man who's limited in what he can bring to a team. He can't guard, he can't rebound, his passing is subpar and his shot selection is poor. All things that would make you think that he's a bad player.

Yet, off the bench, against a team's seventh or eight-best player, Clarkson can still find himself in a favorable matchup. Sports is always about the matchups and Clarkson has been forced to play outside of what works for him; taking advantage of bad bench defenders. Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy has asked Clarkson to play above his means, which is a sixth-man caliber bench guy, and shoved him into the starting lineup.

The starting five often sees the best the opposing team has to offer and that's where Clarkson struggled. He's not such a great shot-creator that he can face the best defenders in the league and still be a positive impact on the Jazz. He's struggled, put up junk, seemed out of rhythm, and generally unlike himself.

But now that Clarkson is back and seemingly back on the bench as the team's sixth-man, Clarkson has looked more of what we thought he would be this year, a high-volume shooter who isn't too bad at scoring efficiently. If the Jazz keep him on the bench for the foreseeable future, it's very likely that the Jazz will be able to maximize Clarkson's contributions.

The Utah Jazz should absolutely keep an eye on the Ricky Rubio situation. The Utah Jazz should absolutely keep an eye on the Ricky Rubio situation. dark. Next