Well, it looks like Lawrence Frank or somebody in the Los Angeles Clippers’ front office was reading my case against picking up Kyrie Irving and instead going for John Wall. No, but in all seriousness, it does feel like the right choice for this franchise.
Even if Irving somehow still ends up across the hall at The Crypt, a move I do believe would seriously improve the Lake Show’s chances of getting back into title contention, it’s still not the right fit for this team.
However, Wall is the one player that is arguably the perfect fit for this squad’s wants and needs heading into a huge campaign.
There will be questions about where Wall’s level is after so much time away from regular NBA basketball, but if he can be even a percentage of the player we saw in Washington then he’d be a steal.
The Clippers need more hands at the point guard position to ease the burden felt by Reggie Jackson at times last season and, despite Terance Mann proving a decent deputy during spells at the one, a former all-star ball-handler who was famed for his speed and playmaking abilities could be the ideal solution.
Critics will likely point to his below-average shooting splits throughout his career, but the same could’ve been said about several of the Clippers’ recent additions who have gone on to become valuable members of the team. Tyronn Lue and his staff have been able to find ways to allow guys to play to their strengths and even get more open shots for players that wouldn’t have been afforded that kind of room on their previous teams.
Jackson and Nicolas Batum both spring to mind, while Norman Powell and Robert Covington have both shown signs of improvement in this area too. The other thing to point out is that Wall won’t be expected to carry much of a scoring burden on this team given the level of offensive talent that will surround him.
There’s also the argument that his injury history makes him another member of the squad to worry about when it comes to availability. While the Clippers have handled their players well in this regard, they’ve also fallen on the side of poor fortune too. Wall coming in on a team-friendly deal certainly decreases the pressure on him to be the player he has been previously, the rest will just come down to luck.
Regardless, this franchise will need more good fortune this season if they are to achieve their ultimate goals. The addition of Wall gives them an even better chance of doing so while not upsetting the apple cart in the way Irving could.
People may try to suggest that Wall’s departure from Washington and rumored beef with teammate Bradley Beal could provide evidence to the contrary. Yet both players have since come out and addressed the supposed feud as talk from the outside, insisting they’re both still close despite not getting the chance to achieve their potential together with the Wizards. Any uncertainty between the two seemed to come from both being young and taking on too much of that noise, but the love was clearly there.
Wall is older and wiser now. He’s walking into a situation where the culture is already set in a certain way and he’ll surely be keen to show he’s still got what it takes to be a big factor in the league. He can do that with the Clippers, and the risk for both feels minimal.
Say it with me: it’s a John Wall summer.