For the past six years, Jordan Clarkson has known the ins and outs of staying in the NBA.
That is why for the 28-year-old Clarkson, he has one simple advice for Kai Sotto as he treks his way to the Association through the G League.
“The best advice I got for him is to stay in the gym, keep continuing to work,” said Clarkson, who signed a four-year contract with Utah worth US$51,520,000 last month.
Clarkson’s journey to the NBA is far different from Sotto’s.
The Filipino-American spent four years in college before being picked as the 46th overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2014.
He spent four years in LA before being shipped to Cleveland and, later on, Utah.
But there was also a time during his rookie year that he spent a substantial amount of time in the Lakers’ G League affiliate D-Fenders, averaging 22.6 points, 7.8 assists, and 5.0 rebounds in five games played.
It’s a time Sotto should relish said Clarkson.
“When you’re around NBA pros, guys, and coaches, just having that and being around that experiences, it’s going to make him better,” said Clarkson as Sotto is getting a chance to play with NBA vets and being under former Denver coach Brian Shaw.
One thing he and Sotto have in common though is that they need to prove that they are worthy of being drafted.
And being in the second league will only lead to good things for Sotto.
“It’s gonna be great for them especially at a young age. I think those guys getting those experiences, eye-opening experiences that a lot of kids don’t get is going to be good for them,” said the 2015 All-Rookie First Team member.
“So having that underneath, I’m just telling them to put their nose down and keep grinding and put the time in cause it’s all gonna work out at the end of the day.”