NBA free agency: Clippers land John Wall on two-year deal

John Wall and the Clippers are officially dating.

The five-time All-Star point guard agreed to a two-year deal worth $13.2 million, his agency Klutch Sports announced Friday, an amount that matches figures for the mid-level full taxpayer exemption.

Wall, 31, hasn’t played in the NBA for 14 months because the point guard, one of the league’s most dynamic stars due to his blistering speed before heel and hamstring injuries, didn’t fit in with the Houston Rockets’ plans for a stadium. rebuild. The Rockets paid Wall $44 million last season not to play a second. After Wall and the Rockets agreed to a buyout in which he returned $6.5 million of the $47 million due to him next season, Wall had to clear waivers before joining the Clippers as an unrestricted free agent could negotiate.

In a matter of days, Wall has gone from a team trying to build a foundation to a Clippers roster looking to finish next season at the top of the league.

In Wall’s final season, he shot 44% from inside the arc and 31.7% from threes, both slightly below his career average. That was on a Rockets team where he was a de facto goalscorer. Team President Lawrence Frank has described positions in the modern NBA with descriptions such as “play starter” and “play finisher.”

Surrounded by goalscorers like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Wall’s responsibility as the game’s finisher seems diminished and his greatest strength as a starter utilised. For a Clippers offense that could be sluggish and stagnant, Wall’s quickness to dribble into the paint matches coach Tyronn Lue’s drive-and-kick offense. That speed also makes him a threat in transition, an area where the Clippers haven’t consistently capitalized last season, ranking 21st in non-turnover points and 17th in points per game in transition .

In Lue’s two seasons, the Clippers had success taking older players with declining stats and dramatically resurrecting their careers, first with point guard Reggie Jackson and then forward Nicolas Batum. Wall is the third such project, which the team hopes will offer Veteran Efficiency at a deep discount on their books.

With Wall’s signing, the Clippers now have 14 standard contracts and one spot left. They only have one traditional center on the list, 7-foot Ivica Zubac. Their handling of the final roster spot last season – which kept it open to allow for training camp competition between backup centers – could be the template for this time.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/clippers/story/2022-07-01/nba-free-agency-clippers-land-john-wall-two-year-deal NBA free agency: Clippers land John Wall on two-year deal

Emma Bowman

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