According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, former Los Angeles Lakers forward Earl Clark, who was reportedly negotiating a new contract with Los Angeles several weeks ago, has decided to spurn the Lakers to sign a more lucrative deal with the Shandong Lions, a Chinese basketball team.
Stein: Sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday that Clark is in the process of finalizing his release from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League to make the move to China to join the Shandong Lions.
Clark, 26, had a career year with the Lakers in 2012-13, appearing in 59 games, including 36 starts. Clark averaged 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds a game, and provided Los Angeles with a very long and athletic wing player who could do multiple things defensively and shoot the three ball with efficiency.
In addition to the Lakers, Clark has played for the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks. Clark averages 4.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game for his career.
The Chinese basketball season concludes in February, so it’s very possible that Clark inks a deal with an NBA team after his stint in China.
The Lakers showed interest in Clark after swingman Xavier Henry’s season was ended by an Achilles tear he suffered during a practice in November. The Lakers have also lost Steve Nash (back) and Julius Randle (leg) for the season, and forward Ryan Kelly continues to recover from a hamstring tear. If Los Angeles is looking to add talent to their barren roster, they might want to give an NBA veteran who recently said he wants to make a return to the Association and play for the Lakers, a call.