Not long after Russell Westbrook joined the Los Angeles Lakers last summer, rumors started linking L.A. with a move for John Wall that would send Westbrook to the Houston Rockets.
The Lakers quickly realized the Westbrook experiment might have been an ill-conceived idea and looked for ways to part ways with the 2017 NBA — even during the 2021-22 season. But they couldn’t come to an agreement with Houston, most likely because of the Purple and Gold’s unwillingness to sweeten the deal with future first-round picks.
It seems like Wall might move to Los Angeles after all — but to join the L.A. Clippers. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon report that the 31-year-old guard will sign with the Clippers after the Rockets buy out his contract:
After agreeing to a buyout with the Houston Rockets, guard John Wall plans to sign a free-agent deal with the LA Clippers, sources told ESPN on Monday.
Wall, who was due $47.4 million from the Rockets after exercising the player option for the final year of his contract, agreed to take $6.5 million less to become a free agent, a source told ESPN. That is roughly the amount of the taxpayer midlevel exception, which Wall could receive once he is able to negotiate a deal with the Clippers.
With Wall joining the Clippers, the Lakers lose one of the options that would allow them to trade Westbrook — as he is one of the few players whose salary would match the Lakers playmaker’s, making the trade valid.
The Purple and Gold also reportedly showed interest in bringing in Wall if he hit the buyout market. But it seems like the Lakers will be able to use their $6 million taxpayer exemption to sign another player.
Malik Monk reiterates he would take less money to stay with Lakers
The Lakers could potentially devote the salary cap exemption to reuniting with Malik Monk, who had a terrific 2021-22 season.
Monk has recently reiterated his readiness to return to L.A. for less money than other teams could offer, saying he feels comfortable being on the team.
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