This time of year is always hectic. There’s the NBA Draft that just took place — where the Los Angeles Clippers selected Michigan’s Moussa Diabate with the 43rd overall pick — and, now, we’re headed right into the free agency craziness and trade whirlwinds that dominate this league on what feels like a daily basis.
The Clippers are one of the teams that’s been hanging around the periphery of the rumor mill thanks to two key players that have upcoming decisions that need to be made: Kyrie Irving and John Wall.
So, with that said, let’s look at the latest rumblings.
Clippers might be the favorite for on John Wall
A lot has definitely been made about the Clippers potentially needing an actual backup point guard. After all, their last backup option — if you’re blanking on who it was, it was Eric Bledsoe — was dealt in a blockbuster move near the trade deadline in exchange for Robert Covington and Norman Powell. That has since left a void.
Terance Mann filled that space as admirably as anyone could, and you could actually say that a big reason for Mann’s breakout this year was due to having the ball in his hands more and appearing to be more comfortable as the year went along. Yet the team could use another ball-handler, just in case.
According to Marc Stein and his latest newsletter, the Clippers and John Wall appear to be heading towards a potential marriage:
League sources reiterated Monday that the Clippers would be making a strong pitch to Wall once he makes it to the open market, with their chances of signing him said to be enhanced by the presence of coach Tyronn Lue.
Wall has officially reached an agreement on buyout with the Houston Rockets, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes, and thus has now hit the free agent market. The Clippers are armed with a $6.4 million taxpayer mid-level exception, but that could be reserved for Isaiah Hartenstein, who, as you recall, had a very nice season for the Clippers as the backup big man. Would Wall take a minimum deal?
The caveat is that Wall has not played basketball in over a year, but the Clippers have hit home runs with recent reclamation projects such as Nicolas Batum and Reggie Jackson. Could Wall be yet another home-run swing that ends up clearing the fences?
Clippers appear out on Irving’s services
Update: Kyrie Irving announced he is returning to the Nets, confirming that the Clippers are not an option for him this offseason.
Kyrie Irving: “Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow. I’ve made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall. A11even.” https://t.co/rpiS8YkSZI— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 27, 2022
Original story follows.
There’s been a lot made about whether or not the Clippers will pursue Kyrie Irving, including initial news roughly a week ago that Los Angeles was “expected to be among the interested suitors.” However, it seems like that is slowly starting to change as we get closer to Irving’s player option deadline date of June 29.
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
ESPN Sources: Outside of the Lakers, there are currently no known teams planning pursuit of sign-and-trades for Nets G Kyrie Irving. No sign-and-trades can be formally discussed until after 6 PM on Thursday. Brooklyn isn't believed to have interest in available Lakers packages.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 27, 2022
It appears that the Clippers are not in the mix for Irving anymore. At least not as of this present moment in time. We’ve recently looked at some of the reasons why the Clippers should make a move for Irving, and we’ve also looked at a few of the reasons why they absolutely shouldn’t. But while the idea of Irving on the Clippers may sound fun to some, it’s probably not going to happen.
Furthermore, The Athletic’s Sam Amick gave an interesting tidbit today:
As for the Clippers, I think they’re in wait-and-see mode (like a lot of teams right now) and trying to get a better understanding of all the dynamics at play here. We’ll know a whole lot more by week’s end.
The final sentence is a big one. We will indeed know more by the end of the week as Irving’s opt-in date, as mentioned before, is this Wednesday. But for now, it does appear that the Clippers are not in on the superstar point guard. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for back court help.