When Jordan Clarkson signed his 4 year, 52 million dollar contract his offseason, I was a little bit worried. The Utah Jazz absolutely had to bring him back. His offensive punch completely changed the bench last season. But boy did that feel like a lot at the time.
I was wong.
Clarkson’s play so far has proven that contract to be a great investment by the Utah Jazz front office. His transformation into the Utah system has been amazing to watch. He had been making improvements prior to coming to the Jazz, but Quin Snyder completed it.
Look at how his shot selection has changed through the years:
Clarkson used to put up a lot of mid and long range twos. He (unrightfully) earned the reputation of a chucker. But honestly, go look at the teams that he has played for throughout his career. They’ve been awful. In fact, I’ll make it easy on you. Here are his teams’ records through the years: 21-61, 17-65, 26-56, 35-47/50-32 (trade mid-season), 19-63, 19-46.
Goodness. I feel bad for him honestly. That’s a ridiculous amount of just losing basketball. Someone had to get some points on those awful teams, so Clarkson was tasked to do that more often than not. No wonder he’s now flourishing in a winning atmosphere. As Rob Perez put it recently: “There were people put on this planet to be doctors, lawyers, and carpenters. Some people were put on this planet to get buckets, and Jordan Clarkson is one of those guys.”
That he was. This dude is straight up just a professional bucket-getter. As such, he’s the odds on favorite to win the 6th Man of the Year Award this year. As of right now, Clarkson is about 2:1 favorite at +250. The next closest is Chris Boucher at +700. At this point this is 100% Jordan’s race to lose.
But he’s also not your typical 6th man of the year. He’s been that good. I looked back at prior winners to see how he compared, and he’s been one of the best. Here is a table showing some statistical comparisons of the past several 6MOY:
Honestly, the 6MOY does often go to a relatively inefficient, high-volume scorer (Montrezl Harrell as the exception). But Michael Jordan Clarkson? That guy’s a flame thrower! His True Shooting Percentage is ridiculous. He’s also scoring that 17.4 points per game in fairly few minutes, so scaling everything to per36 shows just how good his scoring has been.
But that’s not all he’s offering. He’s grabbing a surprisingly high # of rebounds and he hasn’t been a turnstile on defense like some of these guys. The trade to bring Jordan Clarkson in may very well go down as not just one of the most lopsided in Jazz history, but one of the best.
My apologies Mr. Clarkson. You are most definitely NOT overpaid. In fact, ultimately this league is about entertainment. And few things are more entertaining right now than when he checks into the game.
The Utah Jazz have never had a player win 6th Man of the Year (although Thurl Bailey got ROBBED back in 1987-1989). Well that is about to change this season thanks to Jordan Clarkson.