The Cavaliers entered free agency with the mission of upgrading their talent at the wing positions. After two days of negotiations, they signed Earl Clark on Thursday to a two-year contract worth $9 million, a league source confirmed. The second year of the deal is a team option.
Clark, 25, set career highs in scoring (7.3), shooting (44 percent from the floor) and minutes (23 per game) with the Los Angeles Lakers last season, but the Cavs like his 6-foot-10 frame and the way he defends. He appeared in 59 games (36 starts) for the Lakers last season. The Cavs mark his fourth team in five years in the NBA.
With Tristan Thompson and top overall pick Anthony Bennett available to play power forward, the Cavs view Clark as a small forward who will likely contend with Alonzo Gee, C.J. Miles and Sergey Karasev for the starting spot when camp opens in October. Clark earns a significant pay raise over last season, when he made $1.2 million with the Lakers.
In Cleveland, he will be reunited with coaches Mike Brown and Igor Kokoskov. Clark played briefly for Brown last season before he was fired by the Lakers, while Kokoskov was an assistant with the Phoenix Suns when Clark began his career there.
The Cavs aren’t done shopping. They’re still looking for a backup point guard and another big. With Miles on a non-guaranteed contract this season, they could still try and improve the wing position again.
Jason Lloyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Cavs blog at http://www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow him on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/JasonLloydABJ. Follow ABJ sports on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.