NBA free agent watch: Earl Clark

NBA free agent watch: Earl Clark
April 24, 2013, 10:00 am
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The Wizards' regular season is over, meaning it's now all about the offseason, including free agency. Throughout the NBA playoffs, we will highlight a new 2013 free agent playing on that given day while projecting a possible fit in Washington. The Wizards currently do not have significant salary cap space for any big-ticket items, but six players on the current roster will hit the open market this summer including Martell Webster, A.J. Price, Garrett Temple and Cartier Martin. Some under contract could be traded. Obviously re-signing some or all of the aforementioned free agents is an option and the Wizards have three draft picks, including a first round selection, but those pieces won't solve all their needs. That's where other team's free agents come in, that's why we want to know these free agents a little better...

Free agent: Earl Clark, SF/PF, Los Angeles Lakers

Vitals: 6-foot-10, 225 lbs. Turned 25 in January

Stats: Considered a mere throw-in as part of the trade that shipped Dwight Howard to the Lakers, Clark averaged 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in 59 games (36 starts). The four-year veteran jumped into the spotlight in January/February by averaging 10.6 points and 8.1 rebounds over 27 games, which helped keep the dysfunctional Lakers afloat. Shot 54.5 from beyond the 3-point arc in January, but 33.7 from that range on the season.

Playoff Matchup: No. 7 seed in the East, the Lakers trail the Spurs 1-0. Game 2 is Wednesday night at San Antonio. Clark played a scoreless 12 minutes with rebound in the series opener.

The fit: John Wall is among those clamoring for a stretch-four addition this offseason. Even though he's a small forward by trade, the lengthy Clark, a first-round selection by the Suns in 2009, has those traits. After bouncing back-and-forth between Phoenix and Orlando with a bust label looking more and more permanent, the former Louisville product finally had his production catch up with his immense athleticism, though he remains mistake-prone. Earned $1.2 million this season, though he'll certainly earn more in 2013-14.

Chances of becoming a Wizard: Washington could certainly use a little more bounce in its frontcourt and the springy Clark brings that. Whether he brings consistent perimeter shooting is another matter and in this case, perhaps the most important. After that hot stretch in January from long range, he shot 28 percent from 3-point distance over the remainder of the season, though his April numbers (36 percent) were credible. Making a move for a Clark or a player with similar skills would likely mean the end for Chris Singleton with the team. Realistically the Wizards need to shakeup the quartet of young bigs, though adding Clark wouldn't really fill the "veteran" need even if he has played one more year than Trevor Booker or Kevin Seraphin. The Wizards have their mid-level expemption, but must decide if the progress shown by Clark is sincere or just a tease. 

NBA Free Agent profiles

*David West 

*Nate Robinson

*J.J. Redick