2013 NBA Free Agency: Earl Clark an Underrated, Valuable Signing for Cleveland Cavaliers

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

On a very eventful fourth of July around the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers made what you would label as a ‘page two’ signing. They didn’t make a ‘front page’ type of splash like they may be hoping to with Andrew Bynum, but Cleveland did themselves a favor by signing former Los Angeles Lakers forward Earl Clark.

Clark, 25, joins a cast of very young forwards including Tristan Thompson, 22, and Anthony Bennett, 20. The Cavs are set with their forward rotation for the most part, and all three figure to be a large part of what they are going to do this season.

Last season with the Lakers, Clark played very consistent basketball. Shooting the ball over 44 percent and averaging 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in 23 minutes, Clark made his presence felt in a variety of ways.

With a long, athletic frame Clark has the ability not only to play power forward — where he played much of 2012 in L.A. — but also small forward. He sees himself as a guy that can defend both positions because of his height at 6’10” and athleticism.

Point guard Kyrie Irving should figure to have a lot of fun this season with three young forwards on the rise. Drafting Bennett was a surprise, but their forward position, for the moment, appears loaded. That is, if they decide to hang onto Thompson.

Clark makes the Cavaliers a better team, plan and simple. Until the rest of the free agent market kind of settles down once Dwight Howard makes his decision, there can’t be a lot of moves made by the teams affected by his decision. The Cavs, being one of the teams interested in Bynum, figure to wait along with teams who see him as a backup plan to Howard.

Once Howard makes his decision, the Cavs can look toward making a bigger move like potentially bringing in Bynum. For the moment, though, they have already made a significant move signing Clark away from the Lakers.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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