After winning a title with the Golden State warriors, Ian Clark is on the move. The former Belmont Bruin has agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, according to The Vertical. That deal is worth $1.6 million dollars.
Here’s three things to know about Clark’s move to his new team:
THE BEST HE’S BEEN: Clark, coming off his statistically best season of his career, ranked 5th among NBA shooting guards in field goal percentage (49%) a year ago. He averaged 6.8 points last year, while shooting 37% from three-point range for the world champions last year, both career highs.
It’s worth remembering that Clark wasn’t the highest regarded OVC player in that class: he joined the league as an undrafted free agent the same year Murray State standout Isaiah Cannan was drafted early in the second round. This will be Clark’s fourth team in five seasons in the league: he previously played for Utah and Denver before heading to Golden State.
While his salary isn’t superstar level by any stretch, most seem to believe Clark’s departure isn’t about his skill, but about money. There’s just not a lot of cap space left after the Warriors retained most of their “key” players
STARTER POTENTIAL: Another interesting note pointed out by the Bruins’ release on the move: “Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry is familiar with Clark’s game, having previously served as Warriors’ associate head coach.”
Clark will likely have a similar role in New Orleans that he had in Golden State. He’ll likely play behind Rajon Rondo and Jrue Holiday in the backcourt — but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Clark could become a starter. That’s because Holiday has been quite injury prone: he hasn’t played more than 67 games in any of his four seasons in New Orleans.
A STEPPING STONE? Bleacher Report has an interesting take on Clark and the Pelicans. “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 is just 26, and by signing just a one-year deal, he could find even more options open up next summer.