Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jordan Clarkson has surprisingly become the first player in franchise history to be named Rookie of the Month.
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The Lakers have a history of success, and in many ways it comes as no surprise that no rookie has ever had the opportunity to immediately shine on a team built to win a championship every year.
When competing for rings on an annual basis, it would be difficult for the most talented of prospects to break through into the team ahead of veterans, and so no rookie has ever had the chance to grab the award.
All that has changed over the last two years as the franchise goes through a rebuilding process which has opened up the door for the likes of Clarkson to emerge as a promising prospect.
While his teammates may not have quite enjoyed the same level of success he has this season, this is certainly a deserved award after perhaps being the only shining light of another disappointing year.
Clarkson was drafted in the middle of the second round by the Washington Wizards last year, but was acquired by the Lakers for cash considerations and has now been named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for March.
“Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson has been named Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in March, it was announced today, becoming the first ever Laker to be honored with the award (first presented in 1981-82),” an official release from the NBA noted.
In 16 games in March, Clarkson averaged a team-leading 15.8 points on 45.2 percent shooting from the field along with 5.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.
The Lakers rookie has also come up clutch with a game-winner against the Philadelphia 76ers as well as clinching free throws in a tied game with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Clarkson is under contract for next season on a non-guaranteed deal that will pay him less than $900,000. However, it is fairly clear that the Lakers will be swooping in with a new deal sooner rather than later.