Report: Lakers re-signing Jordan Clarkson to four-year, $50 million contract

AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo

Jordan Clarkson said he wanted to return to the Lakers (not that he had much choice as a restricted free agent).

Clarkson is getting his wish.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

This is less than the max offer sheet Clarkson could’ve signed as an Arenas Rule free agent — about $63 million over four years. I think he could have gotten that amount, so I’m a little surprised he agreed to so much less.

I’m also a little surprised the Lakers didn’t have him sign an offer sheet then match it.

The Arenas Rule limits other teams to offering Clarkson the value of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception in the first two years of an offer sheet. Then, the third and fourth years could’ve been worth Clarkson’s max without the Arenas limitation. So, a matched four-year max offer sheet would’ve meant the Lakers were paying over the next four years:

  • $5,628,000
  • $5,881,260
  • $24,955,000
  • $26,582,500

The most backloaded possible structuring of the reported deal is:

  • $11,235,955
  • $12,078,652
  • $12,921,348
  • $13,764,045

So, the Lakers lose cap flexibility this summer and next — times they’ll be heavily involved in free agency — by going this route. The also avoid massive payments in 2018-19 and 2019-20 and save overall.

That makes some sense, considering more cap room now doesn’t mean much when it’s just going toward the players like Timofey Mozgov.