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    Tuesday, 1 August 2017

    Former Warrior Ian Clark signs one-year deal with Pelicans

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    The last remaining key member of last season's championship-winning Golden State Warriors roster has found a new home.
    After the Warriors re-signed JaVale McGee to be their 15th and last player on their active roster a few days ago, Ian Clark’s return to the team became impossible. As a result, Clark agreed to a one-year $1.6 million deal with the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday, as reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical.

    The former Belmont University star began his NBA career with the Utah Jazz after going undrafted in 2013, but struggled to receive playing time in his rookie year, averaging just 7.5 minutes and 3.0 points over 23 appearances. The following season, he appeared in 23 more games for the Jazz (averaging 1.9 points in 7.0 minutes) before moving onto the Nuggets, where he also averaged 1.9 points in just 4.4 minutes.
    Clark caught his break when he signed with the Warriors before the 2015-2016 campaign. Although he logged just 8.8 minutes per contest and scored 3.6 points per game, he established himself as a regular rotational player on the second unit of an ultra-talented team, logging 66 appearances. He also gained invaluable experience as the team went to the NBA Finals.
    In 2016-2017, Clark took a major step forward, posting a career-high 6.8 points in 14.8 minutes for the Warriors, who counted on him to carry the second unit at times on the offensive end of the floor. He would go on to win his first NBA title with the club.
    On Match 11, Clark showed off his offensive potential when he scored a career-high 36 points on 15-of-21 shooting in 34 minutes against the San Antonio Spurs. In that game, Kevin Durant was rehabbing his knee injury and Steve Kerr also rested Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. Therefore, Clark assumed the role as the team’s go-to scorer once he got hot early in the first quarter.
    The Pelicans are hoping that Clark will repeat that performance in what might shape out to be a major role. New Orleans’ “Big Three” of Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and Jrue Holiday will be the main focal points of the team and newcomer Rajon Rondo also figures to see major minutes, but Clark has a shot to see a lot of time on the court.
    Depending on whether or not head coach Alvin Gentry elects to place Rondo in the starting lineup alongside Holiday, Clark might end up in a starting role, as Jordan Crawford and E’twaun Moore will be his major competition at the two guard. Clark’s ability to knock down open shots from beyond the arc will likely make him an attractive option to be on the court alongside Davis and Cousins, who would receive most of the defensive focus from the opposing team.
    Ian Clark shot 41.5 percent on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers last year. Solid guy that can knock down open shots--just what the Pels need
    — Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) August 1, 2017

    If Clark sees extended minutes in a major role, he could hit free agency next summer in store for tens of millions of dollars, given the current market for spot-up shooters.

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