In trading Patrick Beverley and Rajon Rondo to the Memphis Grizzlies for Eric Bledsoe, the LA Clippers consolidated the point guard position while simultaneously severing the last connection to Chris Paul’s six-year tenure in LA. Then, they decided to start Bledsoe at shooting guard next to point guard Reggie Jackson, going without a traditional backup after rookie Jason Preston had season-ending foot surgery.

So when the Clippers traded Bledsoe to Portland in February to acquire wings Norman Powell and Robert Covington, the expectation was that the Clippers would seek another point guard in the buyout market. That never materialized to the Clippers’ liking.

Until now.

Five-time All-Star point guard John Wall has agreed to sign with the LA Clippers on a two-year, $13.2 million deal for their taxpayer midlevel exception. Wall, who did not play last year due to Houston’s quest to develop young guards Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr., agreed to give back $6.5 million in a contract buyout arrangement – roughly the same yearly salary he will now receive with the Clippers.

The Clippers are set to retain 13 of the 15 players who ended last season on a standard contract. Center Isaiah Hartenstein will join the New York Knicks, leaving the Clippers without a traditional backup center. Wall now takes the 14th standard contract, replacing unrestricted free agent small forward Rodney Hood, who the Clippers acquired at the trade deadline, but likely would have let go had a point guard of Wall’s caliber hit the market in February.

Wall’s taken a winding path to get to the Clippers, but he’s here now. He becomes one of nine players who could be free agents in 2024, a list that includes Kawhi Leonard and Wall’s 2010 draft classmate Paul George if they decline player options. The two-year window for the Clippers has been established.

 

How Wall fits

Wall, the top pick of the 2010 NBA Draft out of Kentucky, peaked with the Washington Wizards in the 2016-17 season, earning his lone All-NBA selection (third team) while averaging career-highs in points (23.1, with 6.8 free-throw attempts per game), assists (10.7) and steals (2.0). The Wizards lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on the road against the Boston Celtics that season, but the game before saw Wall hit a game-winning 3 to extend the series.