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2017-18 Clippers Exit Interview: Tyrone Wallace

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In his second season with the guard-heavy Clippers, Wallace struggled to have impact.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Los Angeles Clippers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

KEY INFORMATION

Name: Tyrone Wallace

Age: 24

Seasons in the NBA: 2

Regular Season Stats:

  • 3.5 points on 42.4% shooting
  • .7 assists
  • 1.6 rebound
  • .1 blocks
  • 10.1 minutes per game
  • 62 games played, 0 starts

2018-2019 Salary: $1,349,383

Future Contract Status: Wallace will be an unrestricted free agent in 2020.

SUMMARY

Two-way contract player Tyrone Wallace was of great benefit to the injury-ridden Los Angeles Clippers during the 2017-18 season. The 24-year-old leftie played in 30 games for the franchise, starting in 19. Wallace exhibited great energy and moved well, averaging 9.7 points on 44.5 percent shooting, 3.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 28 minutes per game.

In September 2018, the Clippers exercised their right of first refusal to retain Wallace, matching the New Orleans Pelicans’ two-year, $3 million offer sheet to secure the restricted free agent guard.

On the Clippers’ guard-heavy 2018-19 roster Wallace struggled to earn minutes. He ended the season with reduced production in all categories, playing just over 10 minutes per game in 62 games. Most of his minutes lacked meaning, coming during the “garbage time” phase of games.

Wallace logged only two games in double-figures, including a solid individual showing in the Clippers’ otherwise humiliating 123-99 loss to the Toronto Raptors on December 11, 2018. The Bakersfield native had 15 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks in a team-high 24 minutes in the outing.

Wallace’s second double-figure game came on January 12, 2019 during the Clippers’ 109-104 loss to the Detroit Pistons. Wallace contributed 10 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds and 1 steal in that match-up.

Another highlight for Wallace was the opportunity he was given to suit up in the playoffs. Ty competed for a total of 11 minutes during Games 1 and 3 in the Clippers’ first round series against the Golden State Warriors. At his age, and in his role, that experience is priceless.

STRENGTHS

At 6-foot-5 with a 6-10 wingspan, size is a clear strength for Wallace. He adds another lengthy body to the Clippers’ young backcourt, joining Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Landry Shamet and Jerome Robinson.

Wallace is versatile, aggressive and attacking; a good fit for the current Clipper culture. Offensively, he’s a spark plug with the ability to contribute immediately. He hustles and likes to run the open court.

In the half-court, Ty is an intuitive and smart cutter, adept at diving to the rim with perfect timing for a backdoor layup. He is also skilled at creating offense off the dribble. He has strong handles, a swift first step and an impressive ability to finish at the rim.

Defensively, Wallace adds value off the bench with his length and ability to guard multiple positions. Although he occasionally misses rotations and exhibits odd judgment on double-teams, Ty is a solid defender, particularly on the perimeter, effective at disrupting passing lanes with his long limbs.

WEAKNESSES

Wallace is a solid two-way reserve but desperately needs to develop his shooting if he wants a long-term career in the NBA. His long ball is particularly deficient; he shot a dismal 21.1 percent from distance this season. Ty also went through a bit of a slump with his mid-range shooting, which likely cost him game time during stretches in both January and March.

Ty could also work on exercising more restraint when handling the ball, particularly in transition. “Playing downhill” is a good thing, but this season Wallace frequently looked out of control.

FUTURE WITH THE CLIPPERS

Wallace is young, talented, and could definitely have a bigger role with the Clippers at some point. However, with so much up in the air this off-season, and other, more skilled guards ahead of him in the current rotation, Ty could just as easily end up traded or waived.

OVERALL SEASON GRADE: C+