After buying Beno Udrih and Metta World Peace out of their contracts the New York Knicks have opened up two roster spots. That's led desperate Knicks fans to speculate about the team signing nearly every available or soon-to-be available free agent. While it's unlikely signing anyone on the open market would save the Knicks season and get them into the playoffs the team is definitely looking at the talent available. Now reports have the Knicks coming to terms on a contract with forward Earl Clark.
Earl Clark is a 6'10", 234 pound small forward/power forward from Plainfield, New Jersey. Clark was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 14th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Clark played for the Suns from 2009-10, the Orlando Magic from 2010-12, the Los Angeles Lakers from 2012-13 and the Cleveland Cavaliers this season.
ESPN reports the Knicks have come to terms with Clark on a new contract.
Clark was bought out of his contract and then cleared waivers after being dealt from the Cavaliers to the Philadelphia 76ers in a trade for Spencer Hawes. Clark's a decent perimeter shooter, a good help and a solid on-the-ball defender.
Clark is 26-years-old and was only able to average 5.2 points and 2.8 rebounds during 45 appearances for Cleveland. However, he had a solid 2012-14 season with the Lakers when he averaged 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds.
Clark signed a two-year deal in the off-season with the Cavaliers worth $8.5 million. However, the second season wasn't guaranteed.
Clark is an obvious upgrade to the Knicks defensive personnel. The problem is he alone can't make up for the fact that Mike Woodson’s defensive schemes are extremely predictable and overused. Despite publicly saying he'd like his defenders to stay with their men it's clear he teaches his team to switch every chance they get. Teams have learned how to attack the Knicks inferior personnel.
Their interior defense has been horrible and their perimeter defense gets torched on a nightly basis. Clark isn't going to solve all of New York's defensive problems but he'll certainly help.
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