We’ll never know what would have happened if Kawhi Leonard hadn’t gotten hurt, but even when he was healthy during the Los Angeles Clippers‘ run to the Western Conference Finals, the team looked like it might be a player away at times. John Wall, a five-time All-Star for the Washington Wizards now languishing on the rebuilding Houston Rockets, appears to believe he may be that piece.
After missing the 2019-20 season with a string of injuries, including a ruptured left Achilles tendon suffered from a slip-and-fall at home, he reemerged in Houston after being included in the Russell Westbrook trade. The team was scrapped down to the studs with the subsequent trade of James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets, but Wall quietly had an impressive comeback season.
In 40 games, he averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists per game. His shooting efficiency was not great, at 40.4/31.7/74.9, though he didn’t have much to work with. Only breakout forward Christian Wood outscored him on the year, of the players that finished their seasons in Houston. Wall was eventually shut down in April with a hamstring injury.
The Rockets continue to look towards the future, after landing the No. 2 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. It would make sense for the team to consider a Wall move amid the youth movement, and he seems to agree. Wall recently ‘liked’ a tweet of a FanNation article suggesting a trade to the Clippers.
Posted because Wall liked the tweet pic.twitter.com/XgQcRENWMF
— Rob / ecstatic Houston sports fan (@Houst0n4L) July 12, 2021
— ClipperTalk (@ClipperTalk) July 12, 2021
The star point guard has since un-liked the article, but the internet is forever. It’s hard to blame him; he and the Rockets are clearly in different places right now, and while he’s said all the right things, he probably didn’t want to be dealt there in the first place.
The FanNation article in question cites a proposal by FanSided‘s Space City Scoop, which sneds Marcus Morris, Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo, and Luke Kennard to Houston for John Wall and the 2023 first round NBA Draft pick that the Rockets have via the Milwaukee Bucks.
While the balanced salaries in the proposal work for a trade, per ESPN’s Trade Machine, it seems unlikely that the Clippers would be willing to scrap that much depth for Wall, who remains something of a question mark at this point in his career, especially with his hefty $132 million over three seasons price tag. If he could hypothetically be had for less, perhaps it’s something a contender like L.A. might be more open to.