A picture of scotiabank Arena to highlight Toronto Raptors Juanchoo Hernangomez scoring 27 points in Eurobasket 2022.

Raptors Trade Rumors – Jordan Clarkson, Should the Raptors Trade for Him?

In the latest Toronto Raptors trade rumors, there has been some talk that the Raptors might be interested in Jordan Clarkson. With the Utah Jazz going in a full rebuild, they are looking to trade veteran players like Clarkson. Clarkson, a former sixth man of the year would be a potent player coming off the bench for any team. The Raptors who had one of the worst scoring benches in the whole league potentially could use his scoring punch. Should the Raptors trade for him?

Raptors Trade Rumors – Jordan Clarkson, Should the Raptors Trade for Him? No

I think the Raptors should not trade for him. Even though Clarkson is a phenomenal scorer, I have a few concerns. First, even though he is a excellent scorer, he does not really play any defense. As we seen with Nick Nurse, you get playing time on the team by playing defense first. Clarkson would really need to work at his defense to play on the Raptors. He is a veteran and I am sure he would work at it but it is a concern.

Second, he does not fit the six foot nine vision of what the Raptors want in their players. Clarkson is only six foot four. However, that is not a deal breaker as players such as Fred Van Fleet are short but Van Fleet players elite defense.

Third, his contract. Clarkson has a player option after this year and can opt out and hit the free agent market. Is it really worth trading assets for a 30 year old player who might only be there for one year? Also, if you want to keep him, it might be difficult as you have both Gary Trent and Fred Van Fleet opting out at the same time. Who do you keep and who do you let go? It is already going to be difficult to try to keep Gary and Fred so why complicate things even further? It’s not worth it.

Conclusion

Jordan Clarkson is a nice player to have off the bench. However, for the Raptors, he is not a player that puts your team over the top to be in the NBA finals. His lack of defense would be a problem for Nick Nurse’s defensive schemes. Also, his contract status makes it hard to retain him moving forward. His scoring is nice but at this point, the Raptors need cheaper options. That is why players like Jeff Dowtin are in the Raptors’ system. His is basically the same size as Clarkson. He also has showed some scoring prowess in summer league and looked good in the Rico Hines Runs. Also, he plays defense. They also have players like Gabe Brown and Josh Jackson whom the Raptors are bringing into training camp to see if they can unlock their potential. For the Raptors, unless the player is a game changer, trading for a player like Clarkson doesn’t really make sense. I expect them to stay the course.

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