The Cleveland Cavaliers will have a decision to make in regards to Jordan Clarkson. With one year left on his deal should they trade him?
Jordan Clarkson had quite the season for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Appearing in 81 games off the bench, Clarkson arguably had the best season of his career. The Cavaliers relied on the scoring of Clarkson when the starters needed rest. While that did not lead to many wins, it did show that Jordan Clarkson can be a valuable player in the NBA. With one year left on his contract the Cavaliers have two options. Extend him or trade him.
The case for a contract extension
Jordan Clarkson scored a career-high 16.4 points per game on 44.8% shooting coming off the bench last season. This is nothing to scoff at. Clarkson was almost a guaranteed 10+ points off the bench in every game. Bench scorers who are able to score in double-digits as frequently as Clarkson did are a great asset.
At times Clarkson was locked in and would be able carry the Cavaliers offense by himself. Considering the fact that a team can never have enough scoring it is easy to see why the Cavaliers should sign Clarkson to an extension. If Cleveland were to add another guard though the draft to pair with Collin Sexton in the starting lineup and continue to bring Clarkson off the bench that would be quite the combination.
The case for a trade
While Jordan Clarkson did score a career-high 16.4 points last season, this could be a direct result of the injuries and teardown of the roster. Kevin Love would have been Cleveland’s primary scorer but missed the majority of the season due to injury. This left a void that needed to be filled. While Clarkson was able to score, it is more than fair to wonder if he would have put up the same or similar numbers with Love in the rotation.
Another thing to consider is the fact that the Cavaliers could very well struggle again next season. If that does indeed happen Clarkson is an ideal trade candidate. Playoff teams are always looking for scoring off the bench and Clarkson has shown he can provide just that. Cleveland would also be able to acquire something of value for Clarkson’s services. For a team in a rebuild/retool that is hard to pass up if things are not going their way.
What it all comes down to is whether the Cavaliers are able to sign him to an extension before the season. If Jordan Clarkson signs an extension a trade is doubtful. If Jordan Clarkson does not sign an extension and the Cavaliers struggle again, a trade may be the end result in order to maximize Cleveland’s options moving forward.