The Warriors kept multiple quality players on their training camp roster up until Friday, players that each offered a unique skill set and could contribute in his own way. There was much speculation about who actually had a chance to make the near-perfect roster Bob Myers and his front office constructed. Time in the preseason games were split evenly early on, but as the season crawled closer, it became more and more apparent who the Dubs would sign for the whole year.
That man was Ian Clark.
Clark played 19 minutes in the Warriors preseason tilt against the Clippers, scoring 11 points, dishing out three assists, and grabbing one rebound. Clark was 3-of-10 from the field and 1-of-5 from deep, but he was able to drive well, and he went 4-of-5 from the charity stripe. Clark received more playing time than top reserve Leandro Barbosa, a sign that the coaching staff trusts the young shooting guard.
…the coaching staff trusts the young shooting guard
Clark was one of the earliest players that Golden State signed, and has clearly progressed since the signing. I was initially very skeptical of the signing, pointing to the fact that Clark seemed undersized for his position, a below-average shooter, and not the most versatile defender. I called for the singing of former Santa Cruz Warrior Aaron Craft instead. Clark has proven me wrong, however. Many members of the media have said that Clark really impressed during training camp, showing more versatility than his height and weight would suggest.
So, who did Clark beat out?
Clark’s main opposition to making the roster appeared to be Ben Gordon at first, but the veteran guard played sparingly during preseason, and he was not able to find the form that led him to a 19 point scoring average a few years ago. Gordon ended up being a part of the initial wave of cuts.
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A real surprise to stick around for so long was Chris Babb. Babb was a salary-cap-fixing throw-in in the David Lee trade with Boston, and was expected to be waived before training camp even started. Instead, he remained with the team until Friday.
Finally, Clark’s biggest threat was Jarrell Eddie. Eddie was a player who was very familiar with the Warriors’ unselfish system, having played with the Spurs D-League team, and is 6-7 and is listed as a “guard forward,” so his versatility on both sides of the ball speaks for itself.
Clark proved himself the best player out of all of them, however, and is now a part of the reigning world champion Golden State Warriors. Clark carved himself a niche with his scrappy offensive and defensive play, his knack for getting to the free throw line, and his underrated three-point shot. His three-point stroke isn’t Splash Brother-level good, but it is good enough that defenses have to respect it. This opens up lanes for him to drive, and he truly excels around the hoop.
He may not seen much action on the court, but Clark provides more depth to an already-loaded team.