The Brooklyn Nets have signed 6’10” forward Earl Clark to a 10-day contract, the team announced today.
The 27-year-old Clark last played with the Shandong Flaming Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association this past season, averaging 26.7 points and 10.3 rebounds in 32.9 minutes per game over 19 games. Following the season, Clark returned to his home in Florida, where he’d been working out and waiting for a shot to return to the NBA.
The Nets signed Clark following news that Thaddeus Young would miss at least one game and possibly more with a left knee strain. Young, who had started at power forward for the past ten games next to Brook Lopez, hyperextended the knee Wednesday night.
“I think I can help this team defensively, with the skill fours that’s causing trouble in the league right now, and just going out here, young legs, just playing hard,” Clark said.
If Hollins gives him major minutes today, Clark’s first task as an Nets forward might be: defend LeBron James. Not exactly an easy transition.
The call came from his agent last night, and he flew up to Brooklyn for the team’s morning shootaround. It was such a quick turnaround that he hadn’t had a chance to speak with coach Lionel Hollins about the team’s playbook or his role until after the shoot.
A former lottery pick, he played for five teams over five seasons between 2009 and 2014, most recently with the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks. In 251 NBA games (54 starts), Clark has averaged 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game, shooting 40.4 percent from the field and 33.1 percent from three-point range. His most successful season came in 2012-13, when he averaged 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game with the Los Angeles Lakers, making 36 starts.
“It’s just been tough for me (to stick with a team),” Clark said. “Some people come in the NBA, they’re a lottery pick, they get the opportunities and things go their way. Some players, they got different paths. You know, they get on (a team with) a lot of All-Star veterans, not a young team where you get to play a lot, opportunity don’t come, then you don’t have a resume, you get traded. So now they don’t know what you do. So it’s just about the business, you know. I can go on and on. But I know when I did get my opportunities to play, I showed what I can do, and that I deserve to be here.”