A lot changed for Jordan Clarkson when he was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Cleveland Cavaliers just hours before the NBA trade deadline earlier this month. He went from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference, from a young roster to a veteran one, and from a team that may end the season near the bottom of the standings to a unit that is looking to advance to its fourth straight NBA Finals.
“Nothing against the Lakers, but most of the time we were done in April,” Clarkson said. “Now we’re playing and planning for something more. We know where we want to be. It’s one goal here.”
Clarkson continued to explain that even in his first few days with the Cavs, he has noticed how everything is geared towards succeeding in the playoffs.
“I feel like everything that’s being done, from the strength and conditioning coaches to how we practice, is kind of geared towards playing in June,” he said. “They know what they’re doing and I’m just being observant.”
So far, Clarkson has played an integral role in the Cavs’ success. In his first two games he has averaged 15.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. He has also shot 61.8 percent from the field and 54.1 percent from beyond the arc. While two games is a small sample size, it is an still incredibly encouraging sign.
For the Cavaliers, a successful season means only one thing: winning an NBA championship. While Clarkson has only been in Cleveland for a couple of weeks, it seems clear that he is already well aware of that.