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Report: Warriors’ fan favorite Ian Clark signs with New Orleans Pelicans

It’s the end of an era. Sadness ensues.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Clark, who in his stint with the Golden State Warriors became one of the most electrifying players off the bench and a true fan favorite, has reportedly agreed to terms to sign with the New Orleans Pelicans, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania.

Clark, who played for the Warriors’ Summer League squad in 2013 and then signed with the team in September of 2015, had set himself apart as a spark plug off the bench, earning the trust of his teammates and coaches.

As Dean Campbell said in his season review of Clark’s 2016-17 campaign:

Whatever Clark did to train over the summer of 2016, it sure worked. Clark enjoyed career highs this season in minutes (14.8), points (6.8), shooting percentage (49%), rebounds (1.6), assists (1.2), and steals (0.5). He showed remarkable growth as he accepted a larger role after Leandro Barbosa’s departure last summer.

I mean, who could forget nights like this?!

The news comes as no great surprise, though, as it was widely expected that Clark — still only 26 years old — would receive some serious offers that would drive his salary above anything the Warriors could match.

Again, from our own Dean Campbell:

Clark’s contract, like many Warriors last season, was for about as little money as was allowed under the collective bargaining agreement. Word on the street is that other teams are hoping to sign Clark for much more than the league minimum and the Warriors will not be in a position to match those offers.

The “experts” expect that Clark will be offered something like $6-8 million per season by other teams. With the limited amount of cap space available to Golden State, the Warriors will place a higher priority on saving enough money to re-sign Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. Unless Clark is willing to settle for substantially less to stay with the Warriors, it’s likely that he’s leaving with a larger wallet.

Either way, we’ll always have this timeless gif.

Bless you Ian. Safe travels and thank you for your help in the most recent championship run!

Around the league, it remains to be seen how this move will impact other potential trades and signings.

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