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.
Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.
First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.
Three quick takeaways here:
1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.
2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.
3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.
(Hat tip reddit)
VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”
That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.
Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:
“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”
Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.
And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.