Suns vs. Warriors: What Ian Clark's MVP Performance Means for His Future

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Suns vs. Warriors: What Ian Clark's MVP Performance Means for His Future
Photo courtesy of Zach Harper's Instagram account

Ian Clark is making an NBA roster this summer. 

The former Belmont superstar garnered little-to-no NBA draft buzz coming out of college, and unsurprisingly, he wasn't selected with any of the 60 picks. 

Well, he's quickly making a lot of teams regret the decision to pass him over in June. 

On Monday night, Clark capped off his second productive Summer League campaign by leading the Golden State Warriors to a 91-77 championship win over the Phoenix Suns. 

Coming off the bench, Clark poured in 33 points on 19 shots (7-of-10 from long range) in just over 28 minutes. It was a performance that epitomized offensive efficiency, and NBA writer Holly MacKenzie had trouble just keeping up:

For his efforts, he won the Summer League Championship Game MVP:

In five games with the Miami Heat during the Orlando Summer League earlier this month, Clark put up an intriguing 16.4 points on 48.4 percent shooting to go along with 2.2 steals per contest. 

Should Ian Clark make an NBA roster?

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He received fewer minutes with the Warriors, but he still managed to average 12.4 points on 47.8 percent shooting from the field and 48.5 percent shooting from long range.

Clark is proving he can be a sharpshooter in this league, and really, it's nothing new. 

As a senior this season, he shot a scorching 54.3 percent from the field and 45.9 percent from beyond the arc on his way to 18.2 points per contest. I don't care what league you're playing in, those numbers are just silly.

And as Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn pointed out during the draft process, his advanced numbers check out, too. There are quite a few impressive quantitative arguments from Winn, but here's a look at Clark's ability in catch-and-shoot situations, a role he would likely play in the NBA:

Player Team Height Catch/Shoot Possessions Catch/Shoot Adjusted PPP
Ian Clark Belmont 6'3" 286 1.37
Ben McLemore Kansas 6'5" 150 1.28
C.J. McCollum Lehigh 6'3" 106 1.17
Allen Crabbe Cal 6'6" 320 1.17
Tim Hardaway Jr. Michigan 6'6" 280 1.04
Victor Oladipo Indiana 6'4" 85 0.98
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Georgia 6'6" 256 0.98
Jamaal Franklin San Diego St. 6'5" 139 0.84

Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn

Shooters are incredibly valuable in the NBA, especially on teams that boast elite playmakers or distributors who can open space and find the open man.

According to Warriors beat writer Marcus Thompson, an NBA job is likely on the horizon for the OVC Co-Player of the Year:

And that's how it should be. After Clark's work this summer, there's no doubt he can fill a valuable role off the bench in this league.

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