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Well, it looks like Earl Clark is gone.
According to Sean Deveney, Clark has signed a two-year deal worth $9 million with the Cleveland Cavaliers:
Source tells Sporting News that Lakers F Earl Clark has signed a 2 yr deal w the Cavaliers for $9 million— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) July 4, 2013
Clark met the the Cavaliers twice this week and was reportedly “impressed” by the meetings.
The Lakers wanted to bring Clark back, but on their terms. Seeing as the team is already way over the salary cap, they were never expected to offer Clark a multi-year deal, especially as they want to have as much cap room as possible in 2014.
The Los Angeles Clippers were also said to be interested in Clark, though they probably wouldn’t have matched Cleveland’s offer.
For a player like Earl, it’s not surprising to see him chase the money: he’s a guy who has struggled to find minutes in the league before and has never had a big pay day. The man has a young family and has to support to them.
While Clark could’ve possibly signed a one-year deal with the Lakers, it could turn out being a risky move for the 25-year-old. What if he got injured or continued to see a dip in his production?
During February, Clark averaged 10.9 points per game, while grabbing 7.8 rebounds a night, though that dropped off to just 5.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during March. During the playoffs, Clark averaged just 3.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
It would’ve been nice to have Clark return to the Lakers next season, but in the end it just wasn’t feasible.
Good luck in Cleveland, Earl!