Free-agent combo forward Earl Clark strongly wishes to return to the Orlando Magic, but until the team sorts out the future of star center Dwight Howard, he may have to look elsewhere, Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD reported Tuesday. Clark has an offer from the Denver Nuggets. "He is considering [the Magic]," Happy Walters, his agent, told the Orlando Sentinel's Josh Robbins. "However, he is also considering other offers."
Clark prefers Orlando to all other options, if his locked Twitter account and recent comments are fair indications. "all i wanna do iz put my white and blue on and go to work......damn," he wrote Monday. In recent days he's also taken to re-tweeting several comments from fans urging the Magic to re-sign him. And late last month, he told HOOPSWORLD "I don't want to play anywhere else."
The Howard drama isn't the only factor holding up a possible re-signing of Clark; with the regular season set to start in less than two weeks, the team is already five days into training camp, which includes 15 players, of which 12 have guaranteed contracts. There's probably room for a sixth big man--fifth, if one puts Clark ahead of rookie Justin Harper--on the team, especially considering Howard's lone backup at center is rookie Daniel Orton, still recovering from knee surgeries.
Clark, the No. 14 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, averaged 4.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in 33 games for Orlando since joining the team via trade last December. His energy, athleticism, defensive potential, and willingness to work hard earned him praise from coach Stan Van Gundy and his teammates. Though raw, he's still a month away from his 24th birthday, so he's yet to reach his peak, and he's shown flashes of being rotation-player material in the past. It's possible the Phoenix Suns were onto something when they took the unusual step of not exercising the third-year option on Clark's contract, which is almost unheard of for lottery picks.