Bucks

Bucks, Clarkson a Clean Fit

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Rumors are flying about the Milwaukee Bucks being in hot pursuit of Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson.

With the Jazz amidst a fire sale, it is a realistic option. Utah is clearly looking toward the future after trading star Donovan Mitchell and center Rudy Gobert to stockpile draft picks. Could the Bucks nab one of their remaining studs?

Utah is making Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic and Mike Conley all available. For financial reasons, Conley is highly unlikely for Milwaukee. Bogdanovic is probably out, too as the Bucks would likely have to surrender Brook Lopez, who remains pivotal to the team’s defense.

Clarkson, however, is an intriguing option for the Bucks to acquire.

Why Clarkson?

Simply put— Clarkson can score. He won Sixth Man of the Year and did so as a microwave scorer. Some fans might say, “With the Big 3, we don’t need Clarkson.” Well, it can be true, what if say Khris Middleton is hurt in the playoffs?

Clarkson would bring a different skillset to the role-player guard group. The Bucks’ other non-Big 3 members on the perimeter have similar skillsets. Grayson Allen, Pat Connaughton and Wesley Matthews are largely catch-and-shoot players. Allen can take the ball off the bounce a bit, but only really when attacking closeouts. Clarkson can get his own shot— a massive benefit for the Bucks.

Clarkson is not a good defender. But with lockdown guards in Matthews and Jrue Holiday, Clarkson could guard the least-threatening opposing wing. The Deer have elite rim protection with Giannis and Lopez lurking in the paint to make up for any defensive issues. Also, his offensive game can make up for it while Allen’s offensive scoring punch doesn’t make up for his mediocre defense.

What does a Bucks deal for Clarkson look like?

Clarkson averaged 16.0 points (42% FG, 32% 3PT), 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game last year. Slight dips in shooting splits (career 44% FG, 34% 3PT) as Clarkson can take bad shots, but perhaps playing with Giannis and getting better looks would improve his shot selection.

Over the last five years, Clarkson has averaged over 20 points per game per 36 minutes every year. The 6’4″ guard will be entering his ninth and age-30 season.

What would it take to acquire Clarkson? Grayson Allen and either George Hill or Jordan Nwora (sign-and-trade) with a pick or two sprinkled in could get it done.

Bucks, Clarkson a Clean Fit

Is this a move the Bucks need to make? No, but it also could provide the type of player to compliment Milwaukee’s roster. Clarkson is a former teammate of Bucks’ offseason free-agent signing Joe Ingles.

Clarkson would provide the Bucks a non-Big 3 scoring threat. As someone who can get his own shot, it seems like a match and something that could take some of the burden off Giannis, Khris and Jrue.

About Mitchell Skurzewski

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