As first reported by Jordan Schultz, Ian Clark, a combo guard who averaged 7.4 points in 19.7 minutes off the bench, is returning to the New Orleans Pelicans on a one-year deal.
Ian Clark is reigning with the #pelicans for the league minimum, per source.— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) July 6, 2018
This is excellent news for the front office after losing the experience of Rajon Rondo to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Pelicans being limited to signing free agents on minimum deals after committing to Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton.
Honestly, with Clark back in the mix, it’s difficult to envision New Orleans pursuing any more guards. A rotation of Jrue Holiday, Elfrid Payton, E’Twaun Moore, Frank Jackson and Clark — with Tony Carr possibly signing a two-way deal — is more than enough ball-handling guards for a Chris Finch offense.
For Clark, his deal should reveal a modest raise. With the Pelicans owning his Non-Bird rights, the maximum New Orleans can offer Clark is a 120% on last year’s salary. While $1,892,676 is barely above a minimum veteran contract, realize this paves the way for General Manager Dell Demps to offer Clark a substantial raise next summer with the Pelicans as they’ll own his Early Bird rights — provided, of course, Clark proves his worth in 2018-19 by building on his first year in New Orleans.
With the inclusion of Clark’s contract, the Pelicans look to be committed to 12 players for a total of $108,624,139 in salary.
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