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John Wall plans to join Los Angeles Clippers after buyout from Rockets

Andrew Buller-Russ

Once an NBA superstar, John Wall hasn’t officially stepped foot onto an NBA court since April 23 of 2021. That figures to change in 2022.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Wall and the Houston Rockets have agreed to a buyout that wipes out his $47.3 million salary for the 2022-23 season. Wall is expected to pay back roughly $7 million in salary to secure his freedom, which immediately places him among the 2022 NBA free agency class.

Wall will be free to sign with any team, but the reports are already emerging that Wall plans to join the Los Angeles Clippers.

Why John Wall didn’t play last season

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Houston Rockets
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Now 31 years old, Wall didn’t battle injuries last season. Instead the reason he was sidelined for all 82 games was largely due to his enormous contract, but more so due to the state of the Houston Rockets. Or more accurately, their preferred choice to play their younger talent in a rebuilding year.

With a contract paying over $40 million, no one wanted to trade for Wall last season and that wasn’t suddenly going to change this year either.

Instead the team found a happy medium that allows Wall to get back onto the court with a contender in 2022.

Before any team likely gives him top dollar, they may want to have Wall prove his durability once again. The former No. 1 overall pick missed all of the 2019-20 season and has played in just 113 games over the past five seasons. We haven’t seen Wall play in more than 41 games since the 2016-17 season.

But now he’s no longer Houston’s problem.

Related: Top 2022 NBA free agents: Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine poised to cash in this summer

What John Wall adds to the Clippers in 2022

While the Houston Rockets couldn’t wait to part with Wall, the Clippers can’t wait to add the five-time All-Star to their roster. Wall, if he signs, joins the superstar duo of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.

Reggie Jackson was the starting point guard, starting 76 games, averaging 16.8 points per game, but now he figures to become a top scoring option off the bench for Tyronn Lue’s unit.

  • John Wall stats (2020-21): 20.6 PPG, 6.9 APG, 3.2 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 0.8 BPG, 31.7% 3P%

Wall helps a good Clippers team become a great one on paper. But as we’ve seen too many times in the past, just because a roster looks strong, doesn’t mean it actually is. The biggest question marks everyone will have surrounds Wall and his long-term health. He may start strong, but most will be more impressed if he can help them finish strong, playing in 60+ games.

But there’s no reason to believe Wall isn’t healthy and that he isn’t the missing piece, he’ll just have plenty of haters to prove wrong.

Related: NBA Power Rankings: Warriors and Bucks lead the charge following 2022 NBA Draft