Earl Clark agrees to deal with Cavaliers, cashing in on a well-timed career year


Earl Clark's breakout year has led to a two-year, $9 million agreement with the Cavaliers. The risk is minimal, but can Clark duplicate his success?

Earl Clark cashed in on his breakout year with the Lakers, agreeing to a two-year, $9 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The second year is a team option, but that's a solid deal.

Cleveland is essentially hoping that Clark can provide reasonable depth while leaving open the option of going all out for LeBron James in 2014 if Clark flops. From that perspective, this is a low-risk move. Cleveland has to spend on somebody and is clearly demonstrating that it has no interest in tying up long-term money into any of the top free agents on the market this offseason. Clark probably will play off the bench and may actually be a decent fit alongside Anthony Bennett in a bench forward rotation, but if he's no good, the team can let him go and preserve cap space for 2014.

I wouldn't expect much from Clark this year on the court, though. His "breakout year" was really fueled by a torrid-shooting stretch in the middle of the season that's unlikely to be sustainable. In January, Clark averaged 10.3 points and 8.4 rebounds a game while shooting just under 50 percent from the field and just over 54 percent from three-point range. For the rest of the season, including playoffs, he averaged just 6.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game on 41.5 percent from the field and 28 percent from downtown. Clark has basically been a useful NBA player for about six weeks in a four-year career ... and he's turning 26 next season.

There's very little risk for Cleveland so it's hard to bash this deal, but I doubt Clark makes the kind of impact Cavaliers fans are probably hoping next season.


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