The Brooklyn Nets will have 16 players under contract when training camp begins as the team plans to waive veteran forward Earl Clark.
Pro Basketball Talk reported that the Nets signed Clark, who spent most of last year in China, to a contract late last season that included a non-guaranteed year for this upcoming season. Meaning that the 6-foot-10 small forward would have entered training camp without a guarantee of making the team, which Clark didn't want to do. So, he asked the Nets to waive him now in order to have the opportunity to pursue other options --most likely oversees -- and Brooklyn has agreed to oblige.
Clark would have been guaranteed $200,000 if he still was on the Nets roster on October 26, but after an unimpressive summer league campaign, Clark likely realized he wasn't going to make the team according to Nets Daily. Clark averaged 3.8 points and 2.4 rebounds while shooting 31.0 percent from the floor (7-of-24) along with 6.2 percent on three-pointers in five total games in Orlando and Las Vegas.
Brooklyn will fall below the all-important luxury tax line by about $540,000 once the transaction is completed.
Clark, 27, appeared in 10 games for the Nets last season, averaging 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 9.4 minutes of action. He shot 36.7 percent from the field and 28.6 percent (4-of-14) from beyond the arc.
Clark could get another shot in the NBA due to his athleticism and mobility. However, he has never found his niche in six NBA seasons as he has bounced around six teams. He also possesses a great shooting touch and is an excellent rebounder. Clark shoots 40.3 percent from the field for his career and 32.8 percent from beyond the arc.
With Clark out of the picture, four players will likely battle for the final three roster spots though the Nets could still bring in a couple of players out the training camp roster -- which caps at 20. Willie Reed, Markel Brown, Ryan Boatright and Quincy Miller are the four players who will compete for the final spots as they all have nonguaranteed contracts.
Brown is likely the safest of the four players that are considered to be fighting for a roster spot as his contract becomes fully guaranteed at the end of September while the other three players' contracts don't become guaranteed until after the season starts. Brown also drew raves from head coach Lionel Hollins for his performance in this year' summer league after struggling as a rookie.
"This year he [Brown] came out, made an impact on the game, made shots and made plays. That's how you get noticed, by coming out and helping your team win."
Brown, an undersized shooting guard, paced the Nets' Las Vegas squad 15.6 points and 2.4 assists a game. He still struggled with his shooting in both Las Vegas and Orlando, where he tallied 8.3 points a contest. Last season, Brown averaged 4.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 16.6 minutes of action. Brown shot 36.2 percent from the field and 26.6 percent from beyond the arc while making 47 starts including 29 starts last season.
Boatright also improved his chances of making the 15-man roster with an outstanding summer league debut. The 6-foot point guard went undrafted out of Connecticut this past draft but signed a two-year, $1.4 million contract with the Nets though only $75,000 being guaranteed.
"We saw enough of Ryan's talents here to understand who he is and what he is and how we need to improve him," Nets assistant coach Joe Wolf told Newsday. "So that's the challenge for us as assistant coaches.
Boatright appeared in a total of nine games during the Orlando and Las Vegas summer leagues averaging 23 minutes, 14.1 points, 2.2 assists, 41.2 percent from the floor and 43.6 percent on three-pointers. He is projected to be the Nets' third point guard behind Jarrett Jack and Shane Larkin.
Reed, 25, signed a one-year contract, $947,247 ($500,000 guaranteed) with the Nets after putting together a string of impressive performances while with the Miami Heat's Orlando summer league team. Overall, Reed averaged 13.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in nine games with the Nets and Heat summer league teams. He tallied double-figures six times and twice posted a double-double.
Reed, 25, has spent time with the Memphis Grizzlies, Brooklyn, and Sacramento Kings since going undrafted out of Saint Louis in 2011. However, he has yet to appear in a NBA regular season game.
Reed had been impressive during his stints in the D-League, which encompasses 101 games. The 6-foot-11 center averaged 14.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 49 games with Springfield and Reno last year.
Miller is likely the odd man out. He was acquired by the Nets from Detroit as part of the Steve Blake deal.
Miller appeared in 10 games last year for Sacramento and Detroit, averaging 2.9 points and 2.0 rebounds. The 22-year old has played in 69 games over his three-year NBA career and has career averages of 4.3 points and 2.4 rebounds.
Brooklyn earned the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference despite finishing six games under.500 (38-44). The Nets then fell to the Atlanta Hawks in six games in the first round of the 2015 playoffs.
Brooklyn is expected to struggle this season after deciding to go young. The Nets released Deron Williams, traded Mason Plumlee and lost Mirza Teletovic and Alan Anderson in free agency. Brooklyn did re-sign Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young while also drafting Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris McCullough in the first round of the 2015 draft. Second-year pro Bojan Bogdanovic, 26, also is part of the Nets core players going forward.
[photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images]