Ian Clark In Line For Significant Raise In Free Agency?

While the Warriors expect to retain their top free agents this summer, increasing team salary may cost the club some of its role players, including perhaps Ian Clark. Within a piece on Golden State’s Game 2 win, Shams Charania of The Vertical writes that NBA executives believe Clark could command a deal worth more than the mid-level exception as a free agent.

Clark saw regular minutes for the Warriors in 2016/17, averaging 14.8 MPG in 77 contests, and established new career highs in several categories, including PPG (6.8), FG% (.487), and 3PT% (.374). The shooting guard, who began in his career with the Jazz before spending time with Denver and now Golden State, is still young — he just turned 26 in March.

Although Clark has shown promise and could play a larger role on a team less stacked than the Warriors, projecting a salary worth more than the mid-level exception seems somewhat aggressive. With the NBA’s cap on the rise again and a new CBA set to take effect on July 1, the MLE will be worth $8.4MM in 2017/18. Clark is currently on a minimum salary deal, and has never averaged more 15 minutes per game in a season.

With Clark’s Early Bird rights in hand, the Warriors would have a certain level of flexibility to give him a raise when he reaches unrestricted free agency this summer. But with Stephen Curry in line for a substantial raise of his own, Kevin Durant likely to negotiate a new deal, and other role players like Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, and Zaza Pachulia also on track for free agency, Clark may not be a top priority for the Dubs.

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