While the focus early on in free agency will be on Dwight Howard, the Lakers made it known to Earl Clark that they want him back.
The Lakers called Clark’s agent shortly after free agency started Sunday evening in LA, expressing their interest in bringing the break out big man back, reported by Mark Medina. According to Clark’s agent, the talks “went well” and the two sides will continue talking on Monday.
Clark was considered a cap room throw-in with Dwight Howard in the trade that brought the two and Chris Duhon to the Lakers. However, thanks in large part to injuries, Clark was forced into action and emerged as a surprise talent, beginning with his 22 point, 13 rebound effort in early January and continuing throughout the season and into the playoffs.
Unfortunately for Clark, he slumped badly late in the season, shooting just 37.3% from the field the last 12 regular season games and shooting just 7 of 19 from the field in four playoff games. Nonetheless, according to Clark’s agent, “two or three” other teams are interested in his client, including the Lakers. And one of those teams is the Cleveland Cavaliers.
For the Lakers, the likelihood of Clark returning depends on what other teams offer, according to Medina. The Lakers would like to keep all deals at one year in length to give greatest cap flexibility going into next summer.