The Kings made the move strictly for financial reasons.
Sacramento's payroll is one of the NBA's highest, and owners Joe
and Gavin Maloof apparently had second thoughts about the stiff
luxury-tax bill they probably will pay after acquiring All-Star
center Brad Miller two weeks ago.
Clark exercised his $5 million contract option for the upcoming
season a few days before the Kings acquired Miller and his
seven-year, $68 million contract from Indiana.
"This was a very difficult decision, but we have to consider
the overall economic ability of our team in this market,'' said
Geoff Petrie, the Kings' president of basketball operations. "With
this trade, we think we found a good situation for Keon while
reducing our economic exposure for the upcoming season.''
Clark is headed to his fourth team in five NBA seasons. He
averaged 6.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks last season after
signing with the Kings as a free agent, starting several games
while Chris Webber was injured.
After striking out with several big-name free agents despite
having $20 million of salary-cap room, the Jazz finally landed a
player for their rebuilding effort following the departures of Karl
Malone and John Stockton. Clark has played extensively at center
and power forward in his career.
After trading Hedo Turkoglu to San Antonio in the three-way
trade that brought Miller to Sacramento, the Kings are hoping to
re-sign Jim Jackson, who averaged 7.7 points and 4.2 rebounds last
season as a valuable backup. Jackson has attracted the interest of
several teams, including New Jersey.