Cavs’ Jordan Clarkson should use Brandon Knight as an example

Cleveland Cavaliers Jordan Clarkson (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers Jordan Clarkson (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images) /

It wasn’t long ago that the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Jordan Clarkson was perceived as just another scorer. Now teammates with Brandon Knight, Clarkson can have a clear example of how not to become just a guy who puts the ball in the hoop.

One of the pleasant surprises for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season has to be the development of Jordan Clarkson. Acquired last February in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers, Clarkson came over as a one-dimensional type of player. Scoring first and asking questions later was his mission and it got him to the point he was currently at in his career.

However, it wouldn’t get him much further than that.

More from King James Gospel

Now in his fifth NBA season, Clarkson has been very encouraging to watch. Sure, is he still going to be a score-first guard at heart? Absolutely. But he’s giving recognition to other areas of his game that need to grow in order for him to have sustainable success at the pro-level. Passing the ball more often, making the right read on a shot attempt, and paying attention to the little things on the defensive side were all things that would hold him back if Clarkson refused to improve those particular facets of his play.

He has, though there is still a lot he can do to improve. But this author believes that the acquisition of notable scorer Brandon Knight could do wonders for Clarkson’s understanding of the game.

Knight, along with Marquese Chriss, was picked up in the three-team deal the Cavaliers orchestrated with the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings. After being the eighth overall pick in 2011, Knight has floated from multiple teams trying to find a spot for his production. The difficult part of finding such a place for Knight is simple: He doesn’t offer much outside of a quick bucket.

Thought to be one of the better selections just eight years ago, Knight never developed into an all-around player. Instead, he lasted just one and a half seasons with the Detroit Pistons before being shipped off of the team and sent to the Milwaukee Bucks. Despite his scoring marks hitting a career-high 17.9 points per game (per Basketball Reference) it just wasn’t enough for the former first-rounder to last with the Bucks.

There just wasn’t enough about Knight’s game that stuck out as a true benefit for a team. The assist numbers never jumped off the chart, with Knight only posting 5.2 assists as a top mark in 2014-15. His defense was always lacking and it showed in the multiple video-reels that saw Knight end up on the receiving end of a bad crossover due to poor one-on-one play.

So off to the Phoenix Suns went Knight, then Houston. And only one thing remained the same when it came to his NBA run, that being the constant movement from squad to squad.

Next. New Cavs Chriss and Knight should feel free to attack. dark

Now he’s in Cleveland, hoping this will be a spot he can stay at for some time.

That’s something Clarkson can take away while working on the same roster as Knight. The 26-year old is able to see that he can’t just post high tally-marks and survive in the league. Otherwise, he’ll end up as a throw-in on a trade, just like Knight was this past Thursday.

As a result, the last trade the Cavaliers made before the trade deadline could provide multiple positive benefits going forward.