The Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly adding an interesting piece to further cement their position as championship contenders next season.
According to multiple sources, the Houston Rockets will buy out the final year of John Wall’s contract to make him a free agent, and Wall plans to join the Clippers when free agency begins this Thursday. The former Kentucky Wildcat was set to make $47.4 million this season but opted to take a $6.5 million pay cut to test the market.
Wall has fallen to the wayside in recent years because he hasn’t played many games. He missed the entire 2019-2020 season due to a foot injury and missed last season because he disagreed with management about his role on the Rockets. Houston is also in the early stages of a rebuild and management decided it was best to give younger players time on the court instead of Wall.
In the 2020-2021 season, the 31-year-old averaged 20.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game. The scoring mark was the third-highest in his 10 NBA seasons.
How Wall will fit with the Clippers
Last season was a bit of a nightmare for the Clippers. Two-time champion Kawhi Leonard missed the entire year recovering from a knee injury. Seven-time All-Star Paul George played in only 31 games after missing time early due to an elbow injury, then after coming back he was Covid-19 positive and had to sit out again.
A bright spot was acquiring Norman Powell late in the year and his offensive production was certainly helpful, but scoring the ball remained an issue for LA. The Clippers’ 108.4 points per game ranked 23rd in the NBA.
Despite this, LA had a shot at the postseason by way of the play-in tournament. But those hopes faded quickly after losing the seven seed game to the Minnesota Timberwolves, then losing the eight seed game to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Considering the various struggles throughout the season, it was impressive to make the play-in tournament at all. So Clippers fans should be excited for the 2022-2023 season, especially if they can finalize a deal with Wall.
If the Raleigh, North Carolina-native can replicate his 2020-2021 season, his playmaking abilities will be huge for LA. With Wall, Leonard and George together and healthy, the Clippers will be scrapping with the top dogs in the Western Conference.