Cavs sign free agent Earl Clark to two-year deal

By Jason Lloyd
Beacon Journal sports writer

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In this March 8, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers forward Earl Clark (6) saves the ball that was heading out of bounds as Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry defends during a game in Los Angeles. A person with knowledge of the negotiations says the Cleveland Cavaliers have reached agreement on a two-year contract with free agent forward Clark. Clark met for two days with the Cavs earlier this week. The deal is worth $9 million, said the person who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because NBA teams can't announce free-agent signings until July 10. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

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.

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