John Wall Trade Rumors: Clippers 'Proactive' in Seeking Deal for PG Ahead of Deadline

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIFebruary 3, 2023

Los Angeles Clippers guard John Wall dribbles during an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The Los Angeles Clippers are looking for trade partners for point guard John Wall prior to the Feb. 9 deadline, per Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times.

"Multiple people across the league said the Clippers have been proactive in seeking trade partners for Wall and are considering the possibility of buying out the former five-time All-Star if a trade doesn't materialize," Greif wrote.

Wall signed a two-year, $13.3 million contract with the Clippers last offseason, although L.A. holds a team option for the 2023-24 campaign.

The point guard has played 34 games (three starts) and averaged 11.4 points, 5.2 assists and 2.7 rebounds. He is shooting 40.8 percent from the field and 30.3 percent from three-point range.

Wall's 14.0 player efficiency rating is the worst mark of his career, per Basketball Reference. According to Greif, he sports a team-low minus-9.2 net rating.

Wall has been out since Jan. 15 with an abdominal injury. As of Tuesday, he remained without a timetable to return, per head coach Tyronn Lue.

Andrew Greif @AndrewGreif

Ty Lue says that John Wall is getting closer but said he doesn't know about any sort of target date for a return.

As it stands, the Clippers are reportedly in the market for "lead ball-handlers," per Greif. Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet "appears to be the top target."

Wall was one of the game's top backcourt stars during his heyday with the Washington Wizards, averaging 19.9 points, 9.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game during his stretch of five straight All-Star appearances from 2013-14 to 2017-18.

Unfortunately, a host of injuries cost him large swaths of playing time, including a ruptured left Achilles tendon in February 2019 that caused him to miss all of the 2019-20 season. He hasn't been able to capture that past success, but the fact that Wall has been back out there after undergoing a host of trials and tribulations is impressive.

Wall had a solid 2020-21 campaign with the Houston Rockets (20.6 points, 6.9 assists in 40 games) but sat out all of 2021-22 after coming to an agreement with the young and rebuilding Houston Rockets, who opted to develop more inexperienced backcourt talent.

This year may be a product of Wall trying to knock out some rust, but perhaps a change of scenery for the point guard could lead to greater individual success.

As for the Clippers, they're chugging along in the West at 29-26, good for fifth in the conference. They'll continue their six-game road trip Saturday against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.