The Cleveland Cavaliers have made a lot of noise in the 2013 NBA off-season and almost all of their move have them going in a positive direction. The Cavs first picked up Anthony Bennett, Sergey Karasev and Carrick Felix in the 2013 NBA Draft and then added Jarrett Jack, Andrew Bynum and Earl Clark in free agency.
The Jack signing gives Cleveland a lot of flexibility in their backcourt. Between Jack, Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, the Cavs are going to have a ton of firepower at the guard this season. Bynum is a pickup that’s largely about upside. If Bynum is healthy, he could be a game-changer in the Cavaliers’ frontcourt.
The least heralded of their signings this summer, though, was inking Clark. Clark doesn’t really have the upside that Bynum or Jack do, but he is going to be a solid addition to their team. More importantly, Clark should help the Cavs upgrade at the small forward position compared to the 2012-2013 season.
Last season Alonzo Gee started all 82 games for the Cavs at small forward. Per 36 minutes last season, Gee averaged 11.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.5 steals while shooting only 41 percent from the floor and only 31.5 percent from three. In comparison, Clark played in 59 games for the Los Angeles Lakers and averaged 11.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, one steal and 1.2 blocks per 36 minutes while shooting 44 percent from the floor and 33.7 percent from three.
The main concern from relying on Clark over Gee is the fact that Gee has shown a bit more durability over his young career than Clark and has more experience as a starter. Having said that, Clark is a player that seems to fit more into what Cleveland is trying to do. He’s more efficient on the offensive end of the floor and is a far superior rebounder compared to Gee.
Bynum and Jack are going to be huge for the Cavs this season, especially if Bynum manages to stay healthy. However, don’t overlook what Clark is going to bring to this team. He may be the less heralded signing, but he’s a solid fit for this team.