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Phoenix Suns Are Unlikely To Pick Up Earl Clark's 2011-12 Option

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Paul Coro, Arizona Republic beat writer for the Phoenix Suns, says the team is unlikely to pick up second-year forward Earl Clark's 2011-12 contract option. Clark, drafted fourteenth overall in the 2009 draft, rarely saw the court during his rookie campaign last year. In fact, he played the fewest minutes of any first round pick outside of Okahoma City's center B.J. Mullens.

Initially, the team had high hopes that Clark would be the type of versatile defender and opportunistic scorer they once had in Shawn Marion, and could become a cornerstone of the future Suns rotation. But in his limited playing time, he showed a propensity for poorly chosen shots and looked lost in the team's overall schemes on both sides of the court.

Clark was already doing enough (or too little?) to alienate himself from the rotation without taking into consideration the team's newfound glut at small forward. Add it all up, and Clark was again unlikely to crack the regular rotation.

The Suns -- who, under Steve Nash's leadership, have remained in playoff contention most years -- have rarely gotten a lottery pick in the draft and it's a disappointing blow to the team's future that they misfired on a rare grab at an elite college player.