Last night it was reported that former All NBA 3rd team player John Wall, 31, is agreeing to a buyout with the Houston Rockets and will sign with the Los Angeles Clippers (which will most likely be the $6.4 million mid level exception, which is about what Wall had to pay to Houston as a part of the buyout situation). Wall had until tomorrow to opt in or out of his $47 million player option. Instead of taking that and getting his bad contract stuck on the Rockets, he decided to buy it out and made over $40 million less.
Wall has spent time with the Wizards and Rockets during his long 10 year career. I say “long” because he has missed 2 full seasons due to injury. In total, he has only played 64.7% of his games and has only played 24.4% of his games since 2019. Before injuries however, Wall was one of the best point guards in the league. The former #1 overall pick was a 5x all star and All NBA 3rd team player with the Wizards. He also led them to 4 playoff appearances including a near 50 win season in 2017. Then when he was traded for Russell Westbrook after injuries, he still averaged 21 points and 7 assists win 40 games for the Rockets. While his passing numbers, efficiency and steals numbers went below his career averages, in what also was a small sample size, Wall still showed he has potential to still be a very good point guard in the NBA.
However, after missing the entire 2022 season and clearly being injury prone, what success can he actually have with the Clippers? Well, I would expect him to become their starting point guard, after Reggie Jackson took that role in 2022. No offense to Jackson, but he is better as a very good backup than a mediocre starting point guard. However, I actually expect Jackson to get the starting spot at point guard. Considering how injury prone Wall is, I think it’s good for the starters to have chemistry with Jackson. Also to mention, while Jackson would be considered one of the more mediocre starting point guards in the NBA, he actually plays better as a starter. And having someone like Wall to run a 2nd unit with good scorers like Norman Powell and good bigs like Marcus Morris Sr. and Isaiah Hartenstein, could give the Clippers the most well-rounded team in the NBA!
I think Wall will definitely make a huge contribution to the Clippers success. However, with players like Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Powell, it is going to be tough for Wall to put up the numbers he had in Washington. However, I still expect him to average 12-16 points per game with about 7 assists on much better efficiency. But we will never see the All NBA John Wall again!
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