According to multiple reports John Wall and the Houston Rockets have reached a buyout agreement. Wall’s agent Rich Paul, CEO of Klutch Sports, met with Rockets general manager Rafael Stone to finalize the terms.
Wall will give back approximately $7 million in salary after picking up his $47.4 million player option before the buyout. Once he clears waivers, it is expected that Wall will sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. What a come-up for the five-time All-Star.
Source: Rockets and John Wall have reached a buyout agreement, shaving $6.5 million off of his $47.4 million salary.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 28, 2022
John Wall is planning to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers once he clears waivers, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 28, 2022
Last season the Rockets paid Wall $44.3 million to not play even though he was healthy and willing. The season prior he played 40 games and averaged 20 points and just under seven assists per game.
If Wall is healthy, and he should be given that he’s played 40 games total in the past two seasons, this could be a great pick-up by the Clippers, and Wall would have a chance to contribute on a real contender.
Assuming the Clippers are healthy next season with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, that’s the foundation of a title contender. Add in Reggie Jackson, Terrance Mann, Robert Covington, Ivica Zubac, Norman Powell, Luke Kennard, Marcus Morris and now Wall, and you’re cooking with gas.
Wall is a career 46 eFG% and 51.7 TS%. If he’s able to improve his ability to knock down open threes, this could be one of the best free agent signings of this offseason. The Clippers have another ballhandler and playmaker and come postseason you can never have too many.
Bet MGM has moved the Clippers to +600 odds to win the title next season ahead of the Celtics, Bucks, and Nets. They only trail the defending champion Warriors.
George reacted to the Wall news on his Instagram Story on Monday night, adding an eyeball emoji over an old photo of the two leaning in for a high five.
Paul George IG story. 👀🍿 pic.twitter.com/aAoEknRKju
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) June 28, 2022
Clippers’ governor Steve Ballmer is definitely excited despite a $171 million payroll and a $53 million luxury tax bill for the 2022-23 season.
“I think the sky is the limit for our team,” he said. “It’ll be our effort, our energy. Of course, you got to have a little good luck to win the Larry O’Brien trophy, which is what we really like.”
The main thing for the Clippers is going to be injury luck. If Leonard and George are healthy, this team will be playing late in the postseason. They are that good. The fact that Ballmer is willing to pay the repeater luxury tax, which is extremely punitive, shows the commitment level he has in this team and its players.
“Come on, man,” Ballmer said excitedly. “[Leonard is] not only your best player but one of the preeminent handful of top players in the world. I am really excited about that. Kawhi’s in the gym. He’s working, and we got our fingers crossed everything keeps going on schedule. I think if we stay healthy next year, we are going to be having a chance to talk way late into the [postseason]. How’s that?”
Last season without Leonard and missing George for the majority of the season, the Clippers were 17th in aNET rating, eighth in aDRTG and 25 in aORTG. The return of Leonard and George will boost that offense and improve an already very good defense.
The Clippers if healthy are good enough, they just need a little positive injury luck.