JULY 12TH: The Cavaliers have officially signed Clark, the team announced today in a press release.
JULY 4TH: The Cavaliers and Earl Clark have reached a two-year contract agreement, according to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News (via Twitter). Deveney reports that the deal will pay Clark $9MM over the two next seasons, while TNT's David Aldridge tweets that the second year will be a team option.
After three years of limited playing time in Phoenix and Orlando, Clark had a bit of a breakout season for the Lakers last year, averaging 7.3 PPG and 5.5 RPG in 59 contests (36 starts), while playing significant minutes in place of the clubs' injured bigs.
Cleveland had been in hot pursuit of Clark all week, with Deveney joking yesterday (via Twitter) that the Cavs seemed to be giving Clark a more aggressive pitch than they gave LeBron James three years ago. While the 25-year-old expressed some interest in returning to Los Angeles, the Lakers had limited cap flexibility to offer Clark a new deal, since the club is already well into tax territory.
For the Cavs, a $4.5MM annual salary for Clark shouldn't put much of a dent in the team's summer cap space. Taking into account cap holds for Anthony Bennett and Sergey Karasev, Cleveland had about $33MM in guaranteed salary on its books prior to the agreement with Clark. Depending on whether the team intends to guarantee C.J. Miles' salary, or keep cap holds on the books for players such as Wayne Ellington and Marreese Speights, there still could be close to $20MM available in cap room.
Clark is represented by BDA Sports Management, as the Hoops Rumors agency database shows.