Rockets Claim Earl Clark Off Waivers

5:13pm: The transaction is official, the team announced via press release.

4:59pm: The Rockets have claimed Earl Clark off waivers from the Grizzlies, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Clark had been on a one-year, non-guaranteed deal for the minimum salary with Memphis, so Houston will assume control of it. The Rockets opened a spot on their 20-man preseason roster when they waived Josh Powell on Thursday.

Clark’s free agent stock plummeted after he performed poorly when the Cavs gave him a two-year, $8.5MM contract last season and the starting small forward job on opening night. The second year of the deal was non-guaranteed, helping Cleveland ship him to the Sixers at the deadline, after which Philadelphia promptly waived him. He signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Knicks, but they didn’t retain him for the rest of the season, and he was out of the league from that point until the Grizzlies brought him to camp. Still, there evidently remains at least some level of NBA interest in the 14th overall pick from 2009, as witnessed by Houston’s move today as well as his workout with the Spurs a couple of months ago.

Houston’s opening-night roster is still shrouded in mystery, since the team is carrying 15 fully guaranteed deals plus a non-guaranteed contract for starting point guard Patrick Beverley. The Rockets are also among the teams linked to trade candidate Chase Budinger.

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