As the Lakers await word on whether or not the biggest free agent name in the league will decide to return to Los Angeles, another one of the team’s big men has already decided to skip town.
There has been mutual interest between Earl Clark and the Cavaliers in recent days, and it appears that the two sides have come to an understanding.
From Sean Deveney of Sporting News:
Source tells Sporting News that Lakers F Earl Clark has signed a 2 yr deal w the Cavaliers for $9 million
David Aldridge of NBA.com reports that the second year of the contract will be a team option.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reports that Clark should see some minutes at the small forward position, considering that Tristan Thompson and this year’s number one overall draft pick Anthony Bennett are already firmly in place.
Clark was a throw-in in the trade that brought Dwight Howard to the Lakers, but blossomed last season into a capable rebounder and defender, and flourished when given the chance to start during the time that Pau Gasol was sidelined with a foot injury.
He showed an ability to shoot from the outside as well as from three-point distance, but did so somewhat inconsistently.
Clark has developed substantially during his four NBA seasons, though he’ll now be joining his fourth team before his fifth season begins. He tallied career-bests in points (7.3), rebounds (5.5), and minutes played (23.1) with the Lakers last season.
NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.
Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.
Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.
A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”
Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.
DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.
But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.
DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:
“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.
“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”
This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.
Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.
Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.
I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.