Following a successful two-year spell with the Golden State Warriors, Ian Clark is reportedly moving on to the New Orleans Pelicans, agreeing to a one-year deal with the team Tuesday, per The Vertical’s Shams Charania.
He appeared in 143 games for Golden State and averaged 5.3 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists a night. Particularly last season, Clark benefited from the Warriors’ overall dominance. As head coach Steve Kerr rested his stars late in games, Clark had an opportunity to shine.
The 26-year-old scored 22 points in Golden State’s 127-104 victory at the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 1 and then dropped 23 points in its 135-90 home win over Portland on Dec. 17.
Clark’s best performance in a Warriors uniform came in a 107-85 triumph at the San Antonio Spurs on March 11. He scored 36 points on 15-of-21 shooting.
To a certain extent, the more Clark’s profile grew, the better his chances of leaving Oakland became.
Over the last few years, Warriors general manager Bob Myers has had to save what money he can to accommodate the team’s core of stars. Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, Marreese Speights and Leandro Barbosa were among Golden State’s salary-cap casualties a year ago.
In a perfect world, Golden State would’ve kept Clark, thus helping maintain their depth off the bench. However, Clark wasn’t a key contributor and thus was expendable.
The Pelicans could help Clark shine in a way he never would’ve with the Warriors. Less than three seasons after leaving Golden State, Kent Bazemore went from being recognized almost solely for his celebrations on the bench to re-signing with the Atlanta Hawks for $70 million over four years.
Clark shot 37.4 percent from beyond the arc and averaged 16.7 points per 36 minutes in his last season with the Warriors, per Basketball Reference. Assuming he can maintain or improve those numbers in New Orleans, he’ll be a solid role player for head coach Alvin Gentry.
The only question is where he’ll fit into the team’s rotation. The Pelicans re-signed Jrue Holiday and signed Rajon Rondo in July, and Gentry plans to start the pair together. That could make Clark the first guard off the bench.
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