A five time All-Star. An All-NBA Third Team selection and an All-Defensive Second Team selection. A Slam Dunk Champion. And now possibly a Clipper?
The most recent story pumped out by the NBA rumor mill this offseason is linking dissatisfied Houston Rocket John Wall to the LA Clippers.
Let’s not forget that John Wall did average 20 and 7 last year. I think the 3 teams that should pursue him are the Clippers, 76ers and Pelicans! Carry on... pic.twitter.com/a1sUiikKUO— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) September 14, 2021
For the Rockets, this seems like a no-brainer. They just drafted Jalen Green and seem elated to hand him the keys to the team from day 1, and they have a handful of other young studs in Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr. Wall’s horrible contract (he’s owed $91.6 million over the next two years and is the second-highest paid player in the league this coming season) and inability to carry a team anymore make him a significantly overpriced mentor to Green and veteran in the locker room.
So what about the Clippers then? The argument for Wall is understandable: despite his injuries, he’s another ball handler who can fill the stat sheet and could help the Clippers shoulder the offensive burden this coming season in Kawhi Leonard’s absence. He’s shown that he can still get to the rim and might especially benefit as the focal point of Ty Lue’s drive-and-kick offense. Connections to current Clippers Eric Bledsoe and Paul George also indicate that chemistry likely wouldn’t be an issue. And at the end of the day, he’s still a household name. One can’t help but remember the high-flying dunks, the flashy dimes, the 360-layups he performed to render defenses helpless and confused. And the optimist would happily put on their rose-tinted glasses and hope for the best.
But any seasoned Clippers fan can attest to the fact that in this fandom, optimism is a recipe for heartbreak. A trade for Wall would likely ship out much of our young talent, leaving us with another injury-prone veteran before a grueling season in which we’ll need some fresh legs and youthful energy more than ever (not to mention the aforementioned contract situation). And even if Wall gets bought out (which is unlikely due to how much money he is still owed from said contract) and the Clippers can sign him for cheap, do we want to another historically below-average 3-point shooter and off-ball player, albeit a talented one in other ways, to a backcourt that just saw the re-signing of Reggie Jackson and the acquisitions of Eric Bledsoe and Jason Preston?
I’m not sure. Perhaps the upside is worth exploring. And perhaps this is just another “Trust the logo” and “Lawrence Frank and Michael Winger know what they’re doing” moment. And perhaps this news is all buzz and no honey. With a front office as notoriously tight-lipped as the Clippers, only time will tell where they go from here.
More news for Wednesday:
- Kevin Pelton broke down some of the more notable moments of this free-agency: check out which two Clippers moves made the cut.
- Brandon Boston and Justise Winslow spotted at an open gym playing against other NBA talent.
- NBA announced that while there will a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for referees and other staff, players will not be required to vaccinate.
- Jamal Crawford was left off the 2013-14 Classics Clippers team in NBA 2k22; see his response here.
- Jaylen Clark, UCLA basketball player, starts his own cryptocurrency, check it out!