Jordan Clarkson looks on against the Sacramento Kings on April 13.
(Rocky Widner/Getty Images)

Clarkson Mulls FIBA Asia Opportunity

by Mike Trudell
Lakers Reporter

With his second NBA season fast approaching, Jordan Clarkson has been mulling over an opportunity to play for the Philippines National Team – Clarkson's mother is half-Filipino – in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship that begins later in September.

However, the tournament extends into the start of Lakers' training camp, which all NBA players under contract are required to attend.

Lakers spokesman John Black told us that the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement gives players the right participate in international play if there is no injury issue. In theory, Clarkson could join the Philippines squad and play in its early-round games (Sept. 23 vs. Palestine, Sept. 24 vs. Hong Kong and Sept. 25 vs. Kuwait), but the Lakers fly to Hawaii to commence training camp just three days later.

As such, Clarkson would not be able to participate in FIBA Asia’s knockout round, which begins Oct. 1.

Clarkson will likely be in communication with Lakers management before coming to a decision about whether he’ll play, or whether it’s too difficult considering the proximity to the start of camp.

It’s been quite a year for Clarkson, who went from being the No. 46 pick in the 2014 Draft to excelling late in his rookie season — enough to earn All-Rookie First Team honors. He averaged 16.7 points, 5.4 assists, 4.6 boards and 1.0 steals, while shooting 47.9 percent from the field after the All-Star Break.

Expect coach Byron Scott to extend significant minutes Clarkson’s way, whether he’s starting next to rookie D’Angelo Russell with Kobe Bryant at small forward; starting at the point with Russell on the pine to begin; or coming off the bench in a Russell-Bryant backcourt. Either way, he’ll spend a lot of time on the court looking to back up a stellar final four months of his rookie year.

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