Lakers' guard Jordan Clarkson earns NBA First Team All-Rookie honors

May 18, 2015

The NBA today announced its 2014-15 All-Rookie Teams, headlined by Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and by the Los Angeles Lakers' Jordan Clarkson.

Also making the First Team were the Chicago Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Nerlens Noel, and the Orlando Magic’s Elfrid Payton.

Clarkson, a second round steal who was acquired from Washington in a trade after being drafted with the 46th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, is the 11th Laker to be named to the first team, joining Eddie Jones, Vlade Divac, Byron Scott, James Worthy, Magic Johnson, Norm Nixon, Brian Winters, Jim Price, Dick Garrett, and Bill Hewitt, in addition to 1958-59 Rookie of the Year Elgin Baylor.

Clarkson, 22, was named the NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in March after averaging a team-leading 15.8 points on 45.2% shooting, in addition to 5.2 assists, and 4.8 rebounds. He also scored the winning points in overtime in the final second of two games with a layup March 30 at Philadelphia, and the clinching free throws in a tied game March 25 at Minnesota.

In the March 30 contest, Clarkson joined Stephen Curry, John Wall, and Russell Westbrook as the only players in the NBA this season to record a game of at least 26 points, 11 assists, six rebounds, and three steals. On the road in Oklahoma City on March 24, Clarkson set career-highs with 30 points and three blocks, becoming the first Laker rookie since Eddie Jones (2/4/95) to score 30 points in a game.

In 38 games as a starter, he averaged 15.8 points per game on 45.8% shooting to go with 5.0 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.05 steals. During that stretch, the combo guard showed his ability not only to shoot from long range, but also to run the team from the point.

For the year, Clarkson ranked second amongst rookies in points per game (11.9), 3rd in assists per game (3.6) and free throw percentage (.829), 4th in field goal percentage (.448), and 13th in rebounds per game (3.2).

Wiggins averaged a rookie-high 16.9 points, and appeared in all 82 games. Wiggins ranked fourth in the NBA with a rookie-leading 36.2 minutes, and became the first Canadian-born winner of the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.

Mirotic also appeared in all 82 games, averaging 10.2 points in 20.2 minutes. He was the NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in December and March. Mirotic paced all rookies and the Bulls in scoring (20.8 ppg) in March, when he also led the NBA in total fourth-quarter points (136) and fourth-quarter scoring average (9.1).

Noel led all rookies in rebounding (8.1 rpg), steals (1.77 spg, 10th in the NBA) and blocks (1.89 bpg, seventh in the league). He was the only player in the league to rank in the top 10 in both steals and blocks. Noel became the second rookie in NBA history to average at least 1.50 steals and 1.50 blocks (David Robinson accomplished the feat in 1989-90).

The NBA All-Rookie First Team is rounded out by Payton, the rookie leader in assists (6.5 apg). Payton played in all 82 games (63 starts) and also had an assists-to-turnover ratio of 2.63 (533/203).

The NBA All-Rookie Second Team consists of the Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart, the Timberwolves’ Zach LaVine, the Brooklyn Nets’ Bojan Bogdanovic, the Denver Nuggets’ Jusuf Nurkic, and the New York Knicks’ Langston Galloway.

LaVine, an athletic guard who was the winner of the 2015 NBA Slam Dunk contest, was one of three 2014 rookie first round picks out of UCLA.

Other players receiving votes were: Rodney Hood, Utah; Tarik Black, L.A. Lakers; K.J. McDaniels, Houston; Dante Exum, Utah; Jabari Parker, Milwaukee; Mitch McGary, Oklahoma City; Aaron Gordon, Orlando; Spencer Dinwiddie, Detroit; Jerami Grant, Philadelphia; Kostas Papanikolaou, Houston; T.J. Warren, Phoenix; Damjan Rudez, Indiana; Tyler Ennis, Milwaukee; Joe Ingles, Utah; JaKarr Sampson, Philadelphia; James Ennis, Miami; Cory Jefferson, Brooklyn; Tyler Johnson, Miami; Shabazz Napier, Miami; Nik Stauskas, Sacramento; and James Young, Boston.

By Staff of and news services

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