Believe it or not, the Lakers have plenty of things to tackle in this free agency period beyond convincing Dwight Howard to stay.
The Lakers also expressed interest in resigning surprise reserve Earl Clark shortly after the free agency period began at 9 p.m. PST on Sunday night, a conversation Clark’s agent said “went well” and that they plan to resume talks on Monday. Still, the Lakers’ interest in Clark will hinge on what he attracts in the open market.
Clark, who made $1.2 million last season, received interest in “two or three teams,” including the Lakers, said Bradbury. He said he hasn’t determined yet whether he’s seeking a multi-year deal or a one-year deal since it depends on what offers he receives. But the Lakers wouldn’t want to go beyond one year since they want to maximize cap flexibility for the 2014 offseason when a flurry of high-priced players will become free agents, including LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, John Wall and Paul George, among others.
Clark was considered no more than a throw-in in a trade last summer that brought Howard from the Orlando Magic to the Lakers. But Pau Gasol’s concussion and Mike D’Antoni’s preference for a smaller lineup propelled Clark into a larger role. He finished the season averaging a career-high 7.3 points on 44 percent shooting and 5.5 rebounds through 23.1 minutes in 59 regular-season games, including 36 as a starter. Clark production dipped though in later months, including the playoffs. Clark averaged only 3.5 points on 36.8 percent shooting and 3 rebounds through 20.5 minutes in the Lakers’ first-round sweep to the San Antonio Spurs.
As of now, Bradbury said Clark’s goals remain basic.
“Just a chance to be somewhere with a team where his minutes will come from and he can play and be a part of something,” Bradbury said. “He wants to take that next in his career.”
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