Clark, who set career highs in points and minutes played, also started 36 games last year for the Lakers. His youth and athleticism was a joy to have for a roster with aging stars like the Lakers, but the NBA is a business, and it was time for Clark to get paid.
With Los Angeles’ current financial state, it just did not have the cap space available to re-sign Clark for the upcoming season.
With teams in the Western Conference getting younger and more athletic, the Lakers are in desperate need of some role players who can fill that void. With Clark signing elsewhere, players like Chris Copeland and Nick Young are still available on the open market. So, the Lakers still have a chance to get younger, athletic ballers for next year’s roster, but with the Lakers waiting for Howard’s decision, there is no telling what direction they might go.
Los Angeles only has two ‘true’ rotation players who are in their twenties coming back for next season so far. Those players are sharp-shooting specialist Jodie Meeks and hard-working big man Jordan Hill. Meeks and Hill alone will not be enough to compete with the best teams in the West next season, so count on the Lakers to find another player or two to help bring some more depth to the their rotation.