Earl Clark Signs Deal With Chinese Team

9:36pm: The team that Clark is signing with is the Shandong Lions, Marc Stein of ESPNLosAngeles reports.

6:31pm: Clark has indeed signed a deal with a still unnamed Chinese team, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News reports (Twitter link).

2:15pm: Earl Clark is nearing a lucrative deal to play in China, reports Stein (Twitter link). The identity of the Chinese team isn’t immediately clear. A report late last month indicated that the Lakers would sign the free agent forward, but no such move has happened yet, though the Lakers remain interested, as Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com wrote earlier today in a pair of tweets. Shelburne indicated that the Lakers were evaluating whether to sign Clark, a member of their D-League team, or someone else with a 16th roster spot the league granted via hardship last month. However, that hardship exception has expired, as Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. The Lakers can apply to the league for another hardship if they wish, though it appeared Sunday that the team didn’t plan to do so, according to Bresnahan.

Clark has been with the Rockets D-League affiliate since the start of the regular season, putting up 26.2 points and 8.0 rebounds with 33.3% three-point shooting in 34.3 minutes per game. The veteran of five NBA seasons was briefly with Houston’s big club during the preseason after the Rockets claimed him off waivers from the Grizzlies, who’d signed him to a non-guaranteed deal for training camp.

The 26-year-old began last season as a starter for the Cavs after signing a two-year, $8.5MM deal following a strong performance with the Lakers in 2012/13, but he failed to continue that level of play, and Cleveland sent him to the Sixers at the trade deadline. Philadelphia waived him, and since he completed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Knicks late last season, the former 14th overall pick has yet to play in a NBA regular season game.

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