Houston Rockets: Team signs Gary Clark to 3-year, $3.7 million deal

Gary Clark #6 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Gary Clark #6 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets have signed former two-way forward Gary Clark to a three-year, $3.7 million deal after Clark emerged as an important part of the rotation.

The Houston Rockets have signed Gary Clark to a three-year deal worth $3.7 million, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Coming into the season, the Houston Rockets lost a bit of depth after the departures of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. Sure, they signed Carmelo Anthony, but the team still clearly lacked the two-way versatility they had last season.

After a few games, Clark’s ability to nail open 3-pointers and play tough defense eventually won him the backup power forward role over Carmelo Anthony, who the team soon moved on from.

The 24-year old rookie became a huge part of Houston’s rotation after the Rockets practically cut ties with Anthony, however, Clark soon found himself spending most of his time on the bench. In the last two games, Mike D’Antoni has benched Clark in favor of Danuel House, a call-up from the G-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

However, the Rockets waived House on Tuesday, which created an extra roster spot to give Houston more flexibility in a potential trade, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen. According to Shams, the Rockets will use the two-way opening from Clark’s new contract to sign House to a two-way deal.

Clark’s contract is fully guaranteed for this season, but is only half guaranteed next year and he has to hit incentives to take home the full loot in the 2020-21 season.

Clark is signing a three-year, $3.7M deal with the Rockets, league sources said. Contract is fully guaranteed this season, half guaranteed in '19-20 with incentives to make it full, and guarantee date in '20-21. https://t.co/zd8y7EuDIG

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 6, 2018

Clark has always been a part of Houston’s plans for the future, even though Coach D’Antoni decided to sit him in the last two games. Mike D’Antoni told the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen on Wednesday that he hopes Clark’s time off will allow him to regain his rhythm.

“That’s what we’re planning He’s going to have ups and down this year. That’s normal. I expect him to play well. He’s been OK. We need him. He’s ready to go.”

Clark has averaged just 3.4 points on 27.1 percent shooting from 3-point range in 17.0 minutes per game this season. His offensive numbers are much worse than Carmelo Anthony’s, so some people might wonder why the Rockets value Clark higher.

The Rockets simply don’t need any additional players that are only good offensively but struggle to play solid defense. Houston has averaged 117.1 points over their last 10 games, which is third in the league over that span. But Houston is just 5-5 over their last 10 games because they’re giving up 113.1 points per game.

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Clark and House can certainly help the Rockets on defense, but their offense needs more work. But as with all young players, they’ll adjust to the speed of the NBA and to Houston’s system, and they’ll become more effective scorers as time goes on.