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The Los Angeles Clippers have reportedly made veteran guard John Wall available in their pursuit of frontcourt depth.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Clips are hoping to land “a more accomplished center” than Moses Brown to serve as the primary backup to starting center Ivica Zubac.
The Clippers signed Wall to a two-year contract during the offseason with a club option for 2023-24, meaning a team would not be obligated to keep him next season if it acquires him in a trade with L.A.
Wall was originally the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft by the Washington Wizards, and he was once one of the premier point guards in the NBA as well.
He earned five consecutive All-Star selections from 2013 to 2018, and during his nine seasons in Washington, Wall averaged 19.0 points, 9.2 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.
After missing the entire 2019-20 season because of a torn Achilles, Wall was traded to the Houston Rockets for Russell Westbrook. Wall averaged 20.6 points, 6.9 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals for the Rockets in 2020-21, but injuries limited him to just 40 games.
Wall and the Rockets then agreed that he would not play at all in 2021-22, as the Rockets instead wanted to focus on the development of their young players in the midst of a rebuild.
After Wall was bought out during the offseason, he signed with the Clippers, who hoped he could add more depth and talent to a potential championship-contending team led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
It has been far from a perfect season for the Clippers, as they have been without Leonard and George for stretches because of injury, but they are still 23-22 and in sixth place in the Western Conference, meaning championship contention isn’t out of the question.
The 32-year-old Wall has been a solid contributor off the bench, averaging 11.4 points, 5.2 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 34 appearances.
Although Wall is playing a different role this season than he did at any point in his career previously, his production is by far the worst it has ever been.
He is also only eighth on the team in minutes per game and has seen less action than guards Reggie Jackson, Norman Powell and Terance Mann, and about the same as Luke Kennard.
Since the Clippers have so many interchangeable pieces in the backcourt, they can afford to trade a player like Wall if it means bringing in some support for Zubac.
L.A.’s best frontcourt options besides Zubac are Marcus Morris and Robert Covington, but they are better suited a power forward. Brown is their top backup pure center, but he averages only 7.9 minutes per game and is on a two-way deal.
The Clips desperately need a fallback option in case something happens to Zubac, and dealing from a position of strength like guard may be the best way to make it happen.
As for Wall, a trade could be in his best interest as well, as it may allow him to become the primary guard option off the bench, which isn’t always the case for him in Los Angeles.