Earl Clark is an also-ran for most-improved player award

Lakers forward Earl Clark tries to block a shot by Spurs center Tiago Splitter.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Earl Clark was not selected the league’s most-improved player, The award went to Indiana Pacers guard-forward Paul George. Clark received three third-place votes to come in a five-way tie for 21st.

Through his first three seasons, Clark started a single game for Orlando Magic (none for the Phoenix Suns team that drafted him).

When the Lakers suffered injuries this season and temporarily moved Pau Gasol to the bench, Clark made the most of his opportunity, starting 36 games. Through 59 games, Clark averaged 7.2 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 44% from the field.


On Jan. 9, he scored a career-high 22 points against the San Antonio Spurs. On Feb. 20, Clark pulled down a personal-best 16 rebounds.

Last year, Clark averaged just 2.7 points for the Magic while shooting 36.7% from the field.

Recently the 25-year old forward has struggled to find consistency. Clark was scoreless on Sunday in the Lakers’ loss to the Spurs in their playoff opener.

Clark will be a free agent this summer. He’s being paid $1.24 million in the final year of his deal with the Lakers -- who will have his “Bird Rights” and the ability to give him a sizable raise.

New Orleans Hornets guard Greivis Vasquez came in second in voting. Larry Sanders of the Milwaukee Bucks was third.


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