3 Instant Reactions to John Wall's Rumored Plan to Sign Clippers Contract

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJune 28, 2022

3 Instant Reactions to John Wall's Rumored Plan to Sign Clippers Contract

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    John Wall will reportedly join the Los Angeles Clippers.

    Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported the Houston Rockets will buy out the remainder of the five-time All-Star's contract, which will make him a free agent. While the point guard had picked up his $47.4 million player option for next season, he is expected to give back approximately $7 million.

    According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Wall is expected to join the Clippers even though Los Angeles is not be the only suitor.

    Here are some takeaways.

John Wall Offers Risk-Reward Dilemma After Injuries

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    The Clippers are reportedly adding the 2010 No. 1 pick and a 2016-17 All-NBA third team member who consistently beat defenders off the dribble while leading the Washington Wizards.

    That he may return to someone resembling that player means there is plenty of potential reward for Los Angeles as it pursues a playoff run in the Western Conference.

    Yet Wall hasn't played since April 2021 and hasn't appeared in more than 41 games since 2016-17. He also sat out two of the last three seasons, and few players in the league bring as much injury risk to the table.

    What's more, Wall will turn 32 years old in September and has relied on athleticism and getting to the basket for much of his career. He is just a 32.3 percent three-point shooter in his career and will need to improve from the outside since his athleticism will not be the same.

    Therein lies the biggest potential risk for the Clippers. Wall's game may not age well if he doesn't change it when he returns to the floor.

Clippers Are Ideal Landing Spot for Wall

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    While there are plenty of concerns about Wall, there aren't many better landing spots for him across the league than the Clippers.

    For one, he would not be asked to carry the offense like he was during his prime with Washington. Assuming Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are healthy in 2022-23, they will draw much of the attention from opposing defenses.

    That will free up Wall to attack off the bounce and potentially return to form.

    What's more, the Clippers ranked third in three-point shooting at 37.4 percent last season. Having that around Wall would be important so opposing defenses can't pack the lane to cut off his penetration.

    The presence of Reggie Jackson in the backcourt is also important because Wall will not be expected to play 35 minutes per night at point guard. Jackson averaged 16.8 points per game last season and can carry the offense for extended stretches if necessary.

    With their star power, outside shooting and Jackson, the Clippers provide an ideal situation for the University of Kentucky product to return to the court.

Durability Will Be Clippers' Biggest Concern for 2022-23

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    It is a testament to head coach Tyronn Lue and the team's depth that the Clippers managed to go 42-40 and reach the play-in tournament last season.

    Leonard didn't play a single game as he recovered from a torn ACL, and George appeared in just 31 games. George also missed the play-in tournament loss to the New Orleans Pelicans because of the league's health and safety protocols.

    Still, Los Angeles was supposed to compete for championships when it paired Leonard with George. It reached the Western Conference Finals in 2021 and may be primed for another deep playoff run if everyone is healthy.

    That "if" is doing plenty of heavy lifting, though, given the recent histories of Leonard and George, and adding Wall would only heighten those concerns.

    Los Angeles has enough talent to compete for a title, but it will have to overcome the obstacle that is durability.

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