Tag:Earl Clark
Posted on: December 21, 2011 12:17 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2011 12:19 pm

Kenyon Martin reaches buyout with Chinese team

Posted by Royce Young

Kenyon Martin was one of a handful of NBA players that decided to sign in China, despite the Chinese Basketball Association installing a rule that didn't allow NBA opt-out clauses.

Players like Martin, J.R. Smith, Aaron Brooks and Wilson Chandler seem to be trapped in China until their season ends sometime in February or March.

Martin however, reached a buyout with his team Xinjiang, according to Yahoo! Sports. There's a catch though: As part of the agreement, Martin must honor the Chinese Basketball Association's rules and wait for the end of his team's season to return to the NBA. The CBA's regular season ends in February, but it's likely his team will play in the postseason, so it could be March.

Martin's deal with Xinjiang was worth a record $3 million.

This is massively important for Brooks, Smith and Chandler's situations as this has set the precedent for how their buyouts will be handled. I'd expect them to seek similar buyouts with their teams, but they won't be given clearance to return to the NBA until the end of their CBA season, meaning they done messed up by signing in China despite knowing the no opt-out clause.

There was an expection that Smith and Chandler would be released by their teams, but that doesn't appear to be happening.

Most players seemed to think that getting out of their Chinese contracts would work. Earl Clark did it, citing personal reasons to leave. But he did this while the lockout was still in place. The players wanting to leave now are leaving for the obvious reason to return to the NBA.

Why reach a buyout now and not just play out the season? Injury, obviously. Martin doesn't want to risk anything playing in China when he can become a free agent in March. He wants to get healthy and get ready to join a team, hopefully in time for a postseason run.
Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:37 am

J.R. Smith, Chandler to be released in China

Posted by Royce Young

When J.R. Smith and Wilson Chandler signed contracts to play in China during the lockout, it appears they were basically out of the 2011-12 NBA season. The Chinese Basketball Association built in a "no opt-out" clause that wouldn't allow temporary renting of NBA players during the lockout.

Doesn't appear that rule holds much weight. Already Earl Clark has gone to the Far East and returned despite the no opt-out rule. And you might be able to add two more that: J.R. Smith and Wilson Chandler.

ESPN.com reports there's a "quiet expectation in Chinese basketball circles is that Chandler and Smith will be released by teams there when NBA lockout ends."

But how? I thought there was a rule stopping this from happening?

There is, but that doesn't mean teams can't waive their players. And if Chandler and Smith's teams were to waive them, they'd be free to return if they want. And not just that, but players can sort of force their team's hand to waive them by asking for it or just refusing to play. Chinese hoops blog NIUBBall put it this way:
Technically, yes that’s true. But you forgot to consider an important point — this is the CBA (Chinese Basketball Association)! Despite what the language of a contract may say, there are no such things as “guaranteed contracts” and “no out-clauses.” When it comes down to it, no team is willing to pay and play an import that doesn’t want to be here. With China’s paper thin pool of domestic talent, imports are relied heavily upon to be the focus of the offense and put up huge numbers. If a player doesn’t want to be here, there’s no reason for a team to keep him on board only to see his performance decline on the stat sheet and the team’s losses stack up in the standings.
As for former Nugget teammate Kenyon Martin, the report says Martin's team Xinjiang wants him to stay with them the entire season. Which if the team wants it and is willing to continue to pay him, then that rule carries weight.

When free agency finally starts in the NBA, Chandler would be a restricted free agent and Smith unrestricted.
Posted on: September 28, 2011 1:30 pm

Earl Clark leaves China, without an NBA out

Posted by Royce Young

Earl Clark was one of the first players to sign in China, despite the scary looking "no NBA out" thing. And yet, somehow, Clark is on his way back to the United States as he's left his Chinese club, Zhejiang Guanghsa.

Obviously there's no NBA season yet, but Clark's back to being an unrestricted free agent. His agent Happy Walters confirmed to HoopsHype that Clark had left, with the reason being "personal reasons," which is actually his girlfriend being pregnant. Initially, the word actually was Clark left because he "couldn't get used to Chinese food."

“They have been very cool and cooperative about it because they understand the reasons,” Walters said to HoopsHype.

Now, you're asking yourself: Wait, i think Clark didn't have an NBA opt-out clause? I thought he couldn't leave until his contract was fulfilled? NIUBBall has a great explanation as to why:
Technically, yes that’s true. But you forgot to consider an important point — this is the CBA (Chinese Basketball Association)! Despite what the language of a contract may say, there are no such things as “guaranteed contracts” and “no out-clauses.” When it comes down to it, no team is willing to pay and play an import that doesn’t want to be here. With China’s paper thin pool of domestic talent, imports are relied heavily upon to be the focus of the offense and put up huge numbers. If a player doesn’t want to be here, there’s no reason for a team to keep him on board only to see his performance decline on the stat sheet and the team’s losses stack up in the standings.
So players like Kenyon Martin, Wilson Chandler and J.R. Smith in reality could just take off any time they're ready. Cite some personal reasons and take off. You may have to buy out a little of your own contract but the truth is, you're not bound to China for a full season. That goes against the way it sounds, but we all kind of knew that there would be a way out.

Why put the no NBA out clause in place then? NIUBBall wisely points out that it's more of a preventative measure than anything else.
The rule wasn’t put in to guarantee that guys like Earl Clark stay the whole year, but rather more as a preventive measure to avoid the insanity that would have ensued if NBA superstars like Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade had signed in China. In the CBA’s eyes, superstars in China wouldn’t have raised the level of the National Team, something that the government run league takes very seriously. Plus, having big-name players in China for a month or two only to see them jet back to the States once the NBA lockout ended was not a scenario the CBA ever envisioned as positive for the development of its league.
The first question I asked myself though was, "Is Earl Clark hearing good news brewing on the NBA front and he decided to come home?" That might be a stretch, but whatever the case is, he's out of China when supposedly he wasn't going to be able to get out. And if the NBA finds itself and has a season, you can be sure that Wilson Chandler, Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith probably will have some "personal reasons" that need to be addressed.
Posted on: August 9, 2011 8:39 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 8:41 pm

Earl Clark agrees to deal with Zhejiang of China

Posted by Ben Golliverearl-clark-magic

An NBA player is heading to China to play professionally next season. This one isn't a "stop the presses" signing, but it certainly could be a sign of things to come.

Yahoo! Sports reports that free agent Earl Clark, a seldom-used forward who most recently played for the Orlando Magic, is headed to China.
Orlando Magic free agent Earl Clark has reached an agreement on a one-year contract with Zhejiang of the Chinese Basketball Association, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The deal will pay Clark in the “high six figures,” one source said.
HoopsWorld.com confirms the deal and both sites report that Clark will not have an NBA out clause in his contract.

Clark made more than $2 million last season but, in a somewhat unusual move, didn't have his rookie option picked up. He's a long, athletic player but hasn't found much court time in the NBA, averaging 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 9.1 minutes per game in his two years in the league. 

What's most interesting here is that Clark is just 23 years old. He was selected in the 2009 NBA Draft lottery by the Phoenix Suns and was a toss-in in last December's blockbuster trade that sent Vince Carter and Marcin Gortat to the desert for Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu

That Clark was willing to settle for a deal that will pay him less than half of what he made last season and doesn't include the flexibility that comes with an NBA opt out was no small decision. It speaks to his lack of leverage and the uncertainty in the marketplace. His only motivation to settle for such a deal is because it is "better than nothing" and could very well be better than what's out there for him a month from now. Clark is still an NBA-quality talent but he, or anyone in his situation, needs the money.

That's more than enough motivation for someone wondering where his next paycheck is coming from to take quick action. And it's more than enough reason for NBA fans to get another shiver down their backs, wondering if the 2011-2012 season will ever take place.
Posted on: December 18, 2010 2:38 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:41 pm

Magic/Suns swap Carter, Gortat, Richardson, Hedo

The Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns have reportedly agreed on a trade that includes Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Earl Clark, a draft pick and cash. Posted by Ben Golliver

Earlier today, we noted a report from CBSSports.com's Ken Berger  that outlined the developing possibility of a trade between the Orlando Magic and the Phoenix Suns. Yahoo! Sports and ESPN.com are both reporting on Saturday that a deal has been consummated between the two teams.  The Orlando Magic will reportedly send guard Vince Carter, center Marcin Gortat, wing Mickael Pietrus a first round pick and $3 million (the maximum amount allowed in a trade) to the Phoenix Suns for Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark. For the Magic, they get a proven playoff scoring threat in Jason Richardson and a versatile forward with whom they are familiar in Turkoglu. They also get a heavy burden with Turkoglu's contract and sacrifice depth in the middle with the departure of Gortat. The Suns immediately address their needs for defense and rebounding with the acquisition of Gortat and shed the remaining years of salary owed to Turkoglu. They also roll the dice on Carter, who is in the final year of his guaranteed contract.  Berger confirms  the Suns/Magic trade reports and additionally reports that a trade between the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards sending Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas to the Magic for forward Rashard Lewis is a "done deal."
CBSSports source confirms: Magic get Turkoglu, JRich, Earl Clark from Suns, Arenas from Wizards. "Done deal," CBSSports source says. Wizards get Rashard Lewis, while Suns get Carter, Gortat, Pietrus.
Here's a link to Berger's full trade report . The move of Lewis for Arenas is a swap of horrible contracts, but it makes some sense for Orlando as it was going to be difficult to find minutes for Lewis, Turkoglu and the team's two other power forwards, Ryan Anderson and Brandon Bass. The Magic add two scoring threats on the perimeter in Arenas and Richardson, but the trades leave them extremely vulnerable in the middle should anything happen to Dwight Howard.  For a full breakdown of the Suns/Magic trade, click here .
Posted on: October 19, 2010 7:57 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:54 pm

Shootaround 10.19.10: Magic's Godfather offer

Posted by Ben Golliver
Posted on: September 27, 2010 2:33 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2010 2:37 pm

Preseason Primer: Phoenix Suns

Posted by Matt Moore

It's a season of change, and the Suns are dealing with some pretty big ones. They lost a huge part of their bench mob in Louis Amundson. They lost a pivotal speed player who's been there for years in Leandro Barbosa. And oh, yeah, they lost some Amar'e guy. So there's a lot for them to process as camp starts with new additions. Here's what's going on as the Suns try and adjust to Year 1, Post-STAT.

Training camp site:   San Diego, CA

Training camp starts:   Sept. 28 

Key additions: Josh Childress (free agency), Hedo Turkoglu (trade), Hakim Warrick (free agency), Gani Lawal (draft)

Key subtractions: Leandro Barbosa (trade), Amar'e Stoudemire (free agency)

Likely starting lineup: Steve Nash (PG), Jason Richardson (SG), Hedo Turkoglu (SF), Hakim Warrick (PF), Robin Lopez

Player to watch:   Hakim Warrick. Warrick has never really impressed anyone with his play. He's been good, he can dunk, but he's never blown anyone away. He's also never had Steve Nash working with him in the pick and roll. That's a huge step. He needs to work on his defense and finishing like Amar'e did with his athleticism if he wants to get a starting spot, because Turkoglu will likely get a lot of time there, as weird as that is. Warrick also needs to work on his mid-range game to be more of a threat all over the floor.

Chemistry check: This team likes one another, but there are a lot of new faces in the locker room, and some come with egos. With the loss of Louis Amundson and several players looking for extensions, you have to wonder if distractions will be a problem from the get-go.

Camp battles: The entire frontcourt. Robin Lopez probably has the biggest lock on the starting gig at center, but Channing Frye may push him as he did last year. Josh Childress, Grant Hill, Hedo Turkoglu, Hakim Warrick, Jared Dudley, and Earl Clark will battle it out for the 3 and 4 slots (with Childress likely to spend a lot of time at backup shooting guard). They've got a lot of weapons, a lot of versatilty, and no clear-cut leaders at those positions. Should be a fun competition.

Biggest strength: They're still the Suns. Even with the Amar'e bullet out of the chamber, they've got athletic guys who can run, shoot, and score. They work hard and are lead by one of the best point guards in NBA history. The formula has proven to work. The pieces aren't huge downgrades outside of the loss of Stoudemire, and they're used to overcoming adversity. They'll also still be entertaining as all get-out.

Glaring weakness: Super-punch. They lack a superstar outside of Nash. That's going to be hard to compete with in the Western Conference. Someone has to make a huge step if they want to make the playoffs again.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com