Clarkson's draft position doesn't mean anything now.
Bottom line is he's getting paid $13 million per year now and therefore should start producing at a consistent rate which he hasn't. Russell and Randle may have been drafted earlier but as of right now they are still being paid substantially less than Clarkson and both outperformed him.
I'm not huge on Randle, but he certainly has more potential and brings much more to the table than Clarkson. I don't know how much Laker basketball you watched last season but Clarkson was easily one of the most selfish and boneheaded players when on the floor.
Yes, his draft position means a lot. You can't expect a guy who was drafted in the 2nd round to play up to the potential of a guy drafted in the lottery just because he's making more. He was drafted 45th for a reason. That said, it's not like he's playing at the 45th level either. He's easily the steal of the draft based on where he was drafted and can be a GREAT 6th man for us today...that's worth 12M, easily.
If Randle was a free agent at the same time Clarkson was, do you think we could have kept him for 12M? Nope...do you think he's worth more than 12M now? Nope...and that's a guy who went mid lotto vs a guy who went mid SECOND ROUND!!!! LOL.
I feel like I'm in crazy town when I have to debate things that should be common sense.
As for Randle's potential, we ALL agree he has potential. I just don't agree that his potential is easily reached on this roster and in this system.
As for what Randle "brings to the table", what exactly is that outside of rebounding? I've asked this question over and over and no one seems to want to answer it with any definable, quantifiable skills. Why is that?
Clarkson is what he is...a very good complementary combo guard that is best off the bench at this point. In the right lineup with the right roster, he's a high energy guy who plays well in an uptempo offense as a slasher and finisher with spot playmaking ability. This year, he will be making about 1/10th of the salary cap (approximately). Saying he's anywhere NEAR overpaid is ludicrous.
Why do these 2 things have to be mutually exclusive? If you can get a solid deal for Clarkson now you gotta take it. If not he has another dud year like this past one his value drops a great deal. Its the same reason why this year is make or break for Randle. If he doesn't start to improve to where they feel he's future core piece they have to consider moving him by the deadline or they are forced to pay him his market price next offseason. With talent starved teams like the Nets and Bulls and Nuggets in a year things can get real expensive.
No one is claiming we shouldn't move Clarkson if we get a good deal. No one is claiming a good deal has to be a steal for us. I'm claiming that if we keep him, it doesn't hurt us. I'm also claiming that Randle doesn't help us except by him leaving.
If Clarkson's trade value goes down, you just don't re-sign him...simple. Randle's market value will exceed what he is worth to this team, easily. That's not because he couldn't be great somewhere...just that it won't be here.
And he's NO WHERE NEAR the talent that would make us think about changing course to build around him. That's the hard truth. Punt while you can still land a young player and our core players are still young so all of them can grow up together. We made a bad pick...swallow the pill.