Golden State Warriors Waive Ben Gordon, Clearing Way for Ian Clark to Earn Final Roster Spot


The Golden State Warriors announced Wednesday afternoon that they had chosen to waive 32-year-old shooting guard Ben Gordon. His training camp invite with the reigning NBA champions was incredibly short-lived, playing just 16 minutes of preseason action over the team’s past three contests.

The move was first reported on Twitter by Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports.

Gordon, a former Sixth Man of the Year award winner doing his tenure with the Chicago Bulls, was a low-risk, high-reward move made by the Warriors one day prior to the start of training camp. He’s had his share of bad luck following his stint in Chicago, signing a five-year, $55 million deal with the Detroit Pistons before being traded to and later waived by the Charlotte Bobcats. He was later signed to a $9 million deal with the Orlando Magic prior to finding himself in camp with the Warriors.

Many were hoping Gordon could regain his form and fill the role of being a backup sharpshooter for Golden State, which very much needs a floor spreader off the bench. The team has been searching endlessly for a player to fill that role with their last remaining roster spot and Gordon was certainly one of the favorites to earn his keep, but unfortunately, it seems Gordon will have to continue searching for a new home as the Warriors continue to search for a backup splasher.

That said, Ian Clark could possibly be the guy the Warriors want for the job.

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Clark is a name that should be familiar with longtime Warriors fans, as he was named Summer League MVP after going 7-for-10 from three to help lead the Warriors to a Summer League title back in 2013. Also on that squad was Draymond Green, as well as former Warriors players Kent Bazemore and Nemanja Nedovic.

Over the course of his NBA career, Clark, 24, has long been considered a solid three point shooter, shooting 40.3 percent (29-for-72) from three in the D-League (15 games) and 42.6 percent (340-for-799) from three back in the college before shooting 34.4 percent from three (21-for-61) in his limited time as a NBA player. The Warriors are likely hoping his jumper can be as consistent as it was during his time as a Warriors Summer League player, in which he shot 45.9 percent from behind the arc (28-for-61 in 12 Summer League games).

According to Warriors beat writer Diamond Leung of Bay Area News Group, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr took note of Clark before taking his indefinite leave of absence, mentioning Clark as a standout in training camp.

Therefore, it shouldn’t be a coincidence that Clark is the one player that many see as benefitting the most from the recent waiving of Gordon. Clark’s on-court performance hasn’t exactly been spectacular, but he’s certainly stood out the past couple games for his hustle on both ends of the floor:

Also interesting to mention is the fact that Clark has shown an openness to playing both point guard and shooting guard, which possibly could have been a game changer for Gordon according to Warriors insider, Monte Poole of Comcast SportsNet.

Standing just 6-foot-3, Clark is a bit undersized to play off-guard, but playing him alongside someone like Shaun Livingston solves the problem of having too short of a backcourt. And while Clark’s skill set is best suited to the off-guard position, his quickness and size are perfect for playing point guard.

Per LetsGoWarriors on Twitter, interim head coach Luke Walton had said last week that Clark would try his hand at handling point guard duties in the preseason. Should Clark improve his ability to see the floor and set up his teammates, he could give the Warriors the versatility to play both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson off the ball, ultimately maximizing their outside shooting.

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