John Wall – despite displeasure sat with the Rockets last season – secured the last giant payday of his career sports his $47,366,760 player option with Houston for next season.
Now he’s securing his way to a more desirable team – the Clippers – by buying out.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
The Clippers can afford Wall the taxpayer’s middle exception, which is estimated to be worth about $6.5 million. His minimum salary would be close to $3 million and could be appropriate. But the MLE projection matches the reported buyout amount too perfectly to predict Wall will get less.
Wall could start as a point guard in LA. The 31-year-old should be fresh after missing all of last season. He played well the season before, but that was only relative to bottom expectations. Injuries have derailed Wall’s career. He’s nowhere near the star he once was with the Wizards.
The Clippers just don’t have much depth at point guard. Interestingly, Wall will battle for minutes with Reggie Jackson† In 2015, Wall — whose maximum salaries became obsolete as the salary cap skyrocketed under new national TV deals — went public. wailed get the same amount as Jackson.
Wall definitely came out on top with his Washington supermax extension. That deal locked him up in Houston longer than he wanted, but now Wall is getting about all of his money and may choose his team.
The Rockets certainly scoured the trading market before getting bogged down in a cap hit that will be an immovable obstacle worth more than $40 million. But it is difficult to match such a high salary in a profession. The Lakers don’t trade a first round choice to release Russell Westbrook† Houston is probably better off saving $6.5 million rather than waiting until the February deadline for a viable transaction that will likely never materialize.
As for the tampering… No, the free agency won’t open until Thursday. But Wall is not your typical free agent. He enters the market by getting an exemption – not that his contract is expiring. Teams discussing a buyout with a player usually have him explore the market to determine his value and how much he is willing to sacrifice. The NBA is unpredictable in enforcing tampering. But Wall’s agreement with the Clippers isn’t necessarily a violation.
Wall was also connected to the Heat, Lakers and wizards† Those teams will have to look elsewhere for point guards – probably with a little more respect for the official start of the free agency.
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Report: John Wall joins Clippers after sacrificing $6.5 million in Rockets buyout originally appeared on NBCSports.com