PHOENIX - OCTOBER 12: Andrei Kirilenko #47 of the Utah Jazz drives the ball past Earl Clark #55 of the Phoenix Suns during the preseason NBA game at US Airways Center on October 12, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Less than two weeks to go and I know you are all glued to your computer monitors like moths playing Halo in their mothers' basements ... oh, the waiting!! ... just to find out if the new Suns front office dynamic duo of Lon and Lance will pick up the team option for the third year of Earl Clark's rookie contract.
It's a real mind blower, this one is.
I won't even bother rehashing all the pro-Earl and anti-Earl arguments. But it is fun to hear from Clark himself, who just yesterday told me that he wasn't aware of the contract decision:
Earl Clark Not Sure Suns Will Pick Up Team Option On His Rookie Contract - SB Nation Arizona
"I didn't even know that," Earl said when I asked about his contract uncertainty after Monday's practice. He's busy taking a more Zen approach to his life.
"I can't worry about things I can't control. It's up to them if they pick it up. If not, I'm still going to be me (and) work hard just to be a better player. That's the bottom line."
Personally, I am still on the fence with Earl. I was hoping after six preseason games to have a stronger opinion one way or another about him, but he's just not done enough to move the needle in either direction.
He has plenty of bust potential and plenty of actual basketball potential. That Kerr guy told us when Earl was drafted that he was a high risk / high reward guy and a "project."
If they don't pick up the option, it will be hard to keep him productive and useful this season. He will essentially become a lame duck who never learned to fly. Sure, he will probably keep working hard in practice, but the Suns will have no incentive to play him and other teams would not place a high value on a guy the Suns gave up on.
All in all, I don't see the harm in picking up the option and keeping Earl around. Give it another year -- you never know. It's a long season and if an injury happens and Earl gets consistent minutes he just might figure it out.
He's a tease that way.
Here's some fun Earl facts:
- He's only 22-years-old (and was born in the same year I graduated high school, which makes me ancient).
- He's played a total of 92 minutes this preseason and has 16 rebounds. Nash has 16 rebounds, also (in 118 minutes).
- Robin Lopez leads the team with 25 rebounds in 113 minutes. Not Clark-related, but Clark-adjacent info.
- Lottery players who haven't had their options picked up on their rookie contracts include Joe Alexander (2008, eighth), Patrick O'Bryant (2006, ninth), and Yarloslav Korelev (2005, eleventh).
- Earl will make $1.9m this season (which is about $1.85 more than most of us).
- Earl would make $2m next season if the Suns pick up the option and $3m the following season.
Should the Suns pick up the option for Clark's 3rd year?
Yes, they've already invested in him so why bail now? (183 votes)
Yes, he's gonna be legit! Just needs more time (92 votes)
No, bad idea to keep sinking costs into a losing project (136 votes)
Can't the Suns just trade him for Kevin Durant? (214 votes)
625 total votes