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Nuggets Claim Ian Clark Off Waivers

6:50pm: The move is official, the Nuggets announced.

4:30pm: The Nuggets have claimed Ian Clark off of waivers, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). Clark was waived by the Jazz on Thursday in order for the team to ink Chris Johnson for the remainder of the season. The addition of Clark will raise the Nuggets’ roster count to 14 players.

Denver will have to pay the remainder of his $816,482 one-year veteran’s minimum salary once the move becomes official. That’ll amount to a small fraction of that number for the Nuggets, but the entire salary goes on the team’s cap figure. That helps the team move closer to the $56.759MM team salary floor without costing Denver more than a few weeks of pay on his minimum salary deal. The Nuggets have been carrying only about $54.1MM against the cap, so the move wouldn’t bring the team all the way to the floor, but even if Denver doesn’t make up the rest of the difference, the team wouldn’t have to distribute quite as much among its players as penalty for failing to meet the minimum payroll.

The Jazz are also under the cap, but not far enough that the subtraction of Clark from their team salary would bring them under salary floor. So, Utah simply benefits from not having to pay Clark for the final weeks of the season.

Clark’s contract is set to expire at season’s end. The waiver claim would give the Nuggets a chance to tender Clark a qualifying offer worth slightly more than $1.147MM, which would make him a restricted free agent, allowing the team to match any offer he receives this summer. In the short term, the 24-year-old would presumably be behind Randy Foye and Gary Harris on the team’s depth chart.

The guard appeared in 23 contests for the Jazz this season, averaging 1.9 points in 7.0 minutes per game. Clark has made seven appearances this season for the Idaho Stampede, Utah’s D-League affiliate, averaging 14.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists in 32.0 minutes per contest.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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