John Wall set to join LA Clippers after reaching buyout with Houston Rockets, sources say

After agreeing to a buyout with the Houston Rockets, guard John Wall plans to sign a free-agent deal with the LA Clippers, sources told ESPN on Monday.

Wall, who is due $47.4 million from the Rockets after exercising his player option for the final year of his contract, agreed to take $6.5 million less to become a free agent, a source told ESPN With. That’s about the amount of mid-level taxpayer exemption Wall could receive once he’s able to negotiate a deal with the Clippers.

The Rockets wanted to reach an agreement with Wall before the free hand begins Thursday to maximize his options in picking his next team, sources said.

The Rockets and Wall, 31, made a joint decision for the veteran guard not to play with Houston in the early stages of a rebuild last season. The Rockets instead prioritized the development of young guards Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green, so Wall didn’t fit into the franchise’s plans despite his $44.3 million salary.

Wall averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists in 40 games for the Rockets in 2020-21, proving he could still play at a high level after missing the previous season and a half with heel surgery and a torn Achilles tendon . He spent parts of last season with the Rockets, attending practice sessions and sitting on the bench during games, and the rest of the time training alone in Miami.

Wall was traded to Houston in December 2020 along with a prospective first-round pick for Russell Westbrook after spending the first 11 years of his career with the Washington Wizards, who selected him as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft. The Rockets viewed each other as competitors at the time, but the franchise drastically changed direction when former MVP James Harden forced a trade early in the 2020-21 season.

Wall, who has career averages of 19.1 points and 9.1 assists, would fill the Clippers’ need for a playmaker on a team with championship ambitions. Kawhi Leonard is returning after missing the 2021/22 season while recovering from a partial cruciate ligament rupture in his right knee. Reggie Jackson averaged 16.8 points and 4.8 assists as LA’s starting point guard last season when the Clippers went 42-40 in a play-in game. John Wall set to join LA Clippers after reaching buyout with Houston Rockets, sources say

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