John Wall Rumors: Clippers, Heat Among Interested Teams If PG Becomes Free Agent

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 26, 2022

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 13:  John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets reacts prior to tip-off against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on December 13, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat are both reportedly interested in veteran point guard John Wall should he become a free agent, per NBA reporter Marc Stein (h/t HoopsHype). 

Wall, 31, has not appeared in any games for the Houston Rockets this season after reportedly agreeing to sit out while they sought a trade. No trade has materialized to this point, however. 

The issue with trading Wall is his contract is massive. He's owed $44.3 million this season and has a player option for $47.4 million next season that he will almost assuredly exercise. 

Perhaps in Wall's prime, teams would have considered taking on such a prohibitive salary. But Wall has played in just 113 games over the past five seasons and missed the entirety of the 2019-20 season with a ruptured Achilles.

When he returned for the 2020-21 campaign, he averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists per game, shooting 40.4 percent from the field and just 31.7 percent from three. Solid numbers but not the sort of production worthy of his salary. 

So the alternative is agreeing to a buyout with the Rockets, though Wall would obviously be leaving a massive amount of money on the table if he went that route. 

When Blake Griffin reached a buyout agreement with the Detroit Pistons last season, for instance, he gave up a pretty penny to move on and eventually sign with the Brooklyn Nets:

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Sources: Blake Griffin gave back $13.3 million in his buyout with the Pistons. He had $75M on his deal for this season and 2021-22. The six-time All-Star will clear waivers on Sunday and the Brooklyn Nets are the leaders to sign him.

The other option for Wall would be sitting out the remainder of the season, declining his player option and becoming a free agent. But that seems incredibly unlikely—Wall wouldn't get anywhere close to the $47.4 million he's owed on that option. He'd likely be giving up far more money going that route than he would agreeing to a buyout with the Rockets. 

As for the Clippers and Heat, Wall would make varying levels of sense for each team. The Clippers have been beset by injuries and are currently without superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. At this point, getting any help would make sense for a 24-25 Clippers team looking to stay afloat. 

The Heat, on the other hand, are 30-17 and already have veteran Kyle Lowry running the point, though he's shown an ability to play off the ball throughout his career and could theoretically pair with Wall in the backcourt. 

That could mean bumping a player like Duncan Robinson to the bench or convincing Wall to run the second unit as the backup point guard. It would be another compromise for Wall, who would likely also be eating a big chunk of money in a buyout. 

For the chance to get back on the court with a contender, however, it might be a sacrifice worth making.