Five things to know about Pelicans guard Ian Clark
1) Like New Orleans’ other offseason backcourt acquisition, Clark brings a championship ring and postseason experience to the Pelicans. Clark and Rajon Rondo are the only current New Orleans players who’ve won an NBA title (Clark with the 2017 Warriors; Rondo with the 2008 Celtics). Clark ranks third on the Pelicans’ active roster in career postseason games, with 32 under his belt, all compiled during the past two springs. The present team’s leader in that category is Rondo with 96 career playoff games, while Omer Asik has played in 37. Quincy Pondexter is next behind Clark, with 29 postseason appearances.
2) The 26-year-old Clark is a four-year NBA veteran, having played previously in Utah, Denver and Golden State. He has increased his total minutes on the court each year, going from 172 to 192 to 578 and then topping out at 1,137 in 2016-17 for the Warriors. He played in 77 regular season games for Golden State last season, as well as 16 of 17 playoff contests. According to Basketball-Reference.com, Clark has played 64 percent of his NBA minutes at shooting guard and 32 percent at point guard (4 percent at small forward).
3) A native of Tennessee who was born in Memphis, Clark went on to star at Belmont University, which is located in Nashville. As a Belmont senior, he averaged 18.2 points, shot a scorching 45.9 percent from three-point range and was named the Ohio Valley Conference’s player of the year. Clark shot over 40 percent from beyond the arc in every season of his four-year college career.
4) Clark’s name first became recognizable to avid NBA fans in 2013, when he was named NBA Summer League title-game MVP, after leading Golden State to the inaugural Las Vegas tournament championship. Clark poured in 33 points for the Warriors, who coincidentally were coached by Darren Erman. Erman also led the ’15 summer Pelicans and started a combined 12-0 as a head coach in the desert before finally dropping a game.
5) Clark is a career 36.4 percent three-point shooter who’s coming off a career-best rate of 37.4 percent from downtown last season. Playing in Golden State’s super-charged, up-tempo style, Clark compiled 16 multi-trey games during the regular season; the Warriors went 13-3 in those games. Although he did not start any games, he logged 20-plus minutes 14 times.