The New Orleans Pelicans keep adding players to their roster.
The latest addition is guard Ian Clark, who league sources told The Advocate agreed to a one-year deal at the NBA minimum salary Tuesday.
Clark, a four-year NBA veteran, blossomed the past two seasons as a reserve for Golden State. He played in 77 games last season, averaging 14.4 minutes and 6.8 points, helping the Warriors reach consecutive NBA Finals and earn last year’s NBA championship.
Clark is expected to play a similar role, as one of the team’s key backcourt contributors off of the bench. He can play either guard spot and is a reliable perimeter shooter, helping fill a significant need in the Pelicans’ rotation.
In his two seasons with the Warriors, Clark converted a 36.8 percent of his 247 3-point attempts, meaning he can add needed spacing to several of the Pelicans’ lineup combinations.
Sources said the Pelicans believe Clark pairs well with both starting guards Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo, because he’s built a reputation for moving without the ball and serving as a willing passer. It allows coach Alvin Gentry some versatility when building his rotations, potentially staggering minutes rather than playing separate starting and bench units.
And the Pelicans are in need of a shooting upgrade around centerpieces Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, which Clark provides.
The 6-foot-3, 175-pound guard also helps fill the void left by departed backup point guards Quinn Cook (waived) and Tim Frazier (traded).
Entering free agency, several media experts said Clark was expected to land a multi-year deal worth several million dollars, but the market around him fizzled, despite reported interest from the Milwaukee Bucks.
A month into free agency, Clark landed with the Pelicans for no more than a minimum contract and an opportunity.
“Ian has been huge, and we have needed him,” Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr told reporters after a win in March. “We have needed his scoring and we’ve gone a couple of games without playing him much, but we realized we needed his scoring punch. He’s really responded.
“I’ve said this all year, but Ian really is a coach’s dream. You don’t have to play him, but you know he stays ready. He goes five games without playing, and he just goes out and produces. That’s an incredible asset to have and we are thrilled to have him.”