The last 28 regular-season games that rookie point guard Jordan Clarkson will play are just part of his developmental process the Lakers want to see.
They want Clarkson to continue on his path of becoming a better player by having him play in the summer league.
He already has shown signs of improvement by averaging 13.3 points, 3.9 assists and 3.1 rebounds in the last 11 games he has started.
“I’m still real excited about Jordan Clarkson,” Coach Byron Scott said after practice Saturday. “I keep getting excited about that kid because his growth is getting better and better.
“I’m excited with the way he’s played so far. He’s come a long way in a short period of time. Obviously, like we’ve talked about, the summer is going to be big for him to continue to develop.”
Scott also said he’s looking forward to seeing rookie Julius Randle, who has been out since the first game of the season because of a broken right leg, develop over the summer as well.
Scott said he expects Randle, who has been working out on a stationary bike, to be healthy enough to play on the Lakers’ summer league team in Las Vegas in July along with Clarkson and Tariq Black.
Scott said he expects that threesome to be joined by the Lakers’ draft picks. They could have up to four picks — a top-five selection, a mid-to-late-20s pick in the first round and two second-round picks.
“I think the young guys that we do have, I’m excited to see them continue to grow as basketball players and get better,” Scott said. “I already told Julius and Jordan, you guys should dominate [in the summer league].”
Clearing the air
When Carlos Boozer approached Scott at practice Saturday about not playing during Friday night’s game, Scott re-assured the power forward he wasn’t kept on the bench because Boozer missed practice Wednesday and not to think it was “personal.”
Scott simply wanted to try a different lineup and was not punishing Boozer for his act.
Boozer, who was fined an undisclosed amount for missing the first practice after the All-Star break, told Scott his private plane had “engine trouble” and that’s why he wasn’t able to get from Miami to Los Angeles in time.
“It’s never personal with me,” Scott said. “I don’t play guys out of being, ‘I’m mad,’ or anything like that. Like I said before, I don’t hold no grudges when it comes to that. If you can help me win games, I’ll put you on the floor. I don’t have to like you at all. But that’s not the case with Carlos.”
Lakers and lottery balls
Forget playoff pushes. No Lakers title parades this June. The real race is for a bottom-five draft pick that the Lakers don’t have to give to the Philadelphia 76ers. The regular season ends April 15, the draft lottery is May 19 and the NBA draft is June 25. Below are standings of the five worst teams after Saturday’s games and odds to land the No. 1 overall pick, which will be Duke center Jahlil Okafor until further notice:
TEAM; W-L; PCT. ODDS
1. New York 10-44 25%
2. Minnesota 12-42 19.9%
2. Philadelphia 12-42 19.9%
4. Lakers 13-41 10.4%
5. Orlando 18-39 10.3%
LAKERS VS. BOSTON
When: 6:30 p.m. PST Sunday.
Where: Staples Center.
On the air: TV: TWC SportsNet, TWC Deportes; Radio: 710, 1330.
Records: Lakers 13-41; Celtics 20-32.
Record vs. Celtics: 0-1.
Update: The Lakers are seeking to break a seven-game losing streak. Their defense still needs plenty of work, as the Lakers are allowing an NBA-high 106.3 points per game. Though the Celtics are 12 games under .500, they still are just two games out of the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.