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Earl Clark “Leaning” Towards Declining Player Option, Becoming Free Agent

2012 June 29
by Brian Serra

6/29 UPDATE: #FreeEarlClark is officially freed from the Magic. He declined his player option and will become an unrestricted free agent. It is highly doubtful that he’ll return to the team.

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With all the recent attention paid to Jameer Nelson and his player option, Mr. Earl Clark has been ignored. Earl Clark has a player option for next season for around $1.24M which it looks like he may not be exercising. Orlando Pinstriped Post has that scoop:

“Orlando Magic forward Earl Clark is “leaning” toward declining the player option on his contract in order to become an unrestricted free agent, Clark’s agent, Happy Walters, told Orlando Pinstriped Post on Friday. Clark has until June 29th to notify the Magic of his decision.” – OPP

By not exercising the player option by June 29th, Clark would become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. The 6’10” Clark played in 45 games last year and started to find his groove as an energy, hustle player off the bench towards the end of season when he saw his role expanded after Dwight Howard was injured. Stan Van Gundy attempted to use him as his LeBron/Durant type stopper early in the season but with little success.

Clark is likely looking to gain a long term deal and the opportunity for more playing time. Even if he becomes a free agent, there is nothing that would prevent his return to Orlando next season. That is unless potential Assistant GM, Dwight Howard, does not approve.

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