Report: Knicks close to deal with Earl Clark

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The New York Knicks are looking for defensive help. As they should be if you’ve watched any of their games recently.

Which is why they are close to bringing in free agent Earl Clark. A deal is near, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The New York Knicks are finalizing an agreement with free-agent forward Earl Clark, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

After acquiring him in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, Philadelphia released Clark, 26, and he cleared waivers to become a free agent.

Clark had played with the Cavaliers this season averaging 5.2 points on just 37.5 percent shooting (although he was hitting a respectable 34.5 percent from three). He wasn’t out there for his offense; he’s out there because he’s a good help defender and solid on the ball.

The Cavaliers traded Clark to the 76ers as part of the Spencer Hawes deal. Philadelphia instantly waived Clark, making him a free agent.

He’d be an upgrade for the Knicks (yes a guy waived by the Sixers is a defensive upgrade in New York, it has come to that). At least in terms of personnel. Mike Brown’s defensive systems are so predictable and overused — he likes to switch everything — that teams have learned how to attack it, yet the Knicks don’t really counter. They are predictable to the point of being ineffective. Do that with inferior personnel and the Knicks perimeter defense just gets torched.

Clark upgrades the personnel defensively but that’s about it. And that’s not going to be near enough against Miami.