John Wall agreed to a two-year, $13.2 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, his agency confirmed Friday. This comes a few days after Wall and the Houston Rockets reached a buyout agreement that allowed him to become an unrestricted free agent.
The former All-Star point guard did not play last season while the Rockets attempted to trade him. When that proved impossible, the two sides pivoted into a buyout. As a result, Wall will sacrifice $6.5 million of the $47.4 million that was owed to him in order to join the Clippers. Yet his new deal with the Clippers will ensure he makes double the amount he lost in the buyout with the Rockets.
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Wall has played just 72 games over the past four seasons due to a combination of injuries and Houston's disinterest in using him. Their loss is the Clippers' gain. They've spent years seeking a more traditional point guard to pair with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and now, they've seemingly found one. At his best, Wall was among the NBA's top athletes and floor generals, and his passing should complement Leonard and George's scoring from the wing quite well.
Houston has been committed to devoting its minutes to its younger players. Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. already received the lion's share of available playing time in the backcourt last season, and the Rockets added Kentucky point guard TyTy Washington in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft as well, making Wall even less important to their future.
Despite his relatively sparse past few seasons, Wall is still only 31 years old. If he is indeed healthy, he is still relatively close to when most players peak on the aging curve. Houston, still rebuilding, may not have been able to take advantage of that, but the Clippers can. Even in an adverse situation in Houston, when we last saw him in 2021, he was averaging 20.6 points and 6.9 assists per game. There's still a productive player in there somewhere. Now, Wall will have the chance to prove it on the Clippers.