The Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets are two teams going in completely different directions. The latter group, despite getting off to a decent start this year, is in the midst of a rebuild after James Harden’s departure. They’re just trying to chart a course for a successful future. The former squad is a legitimate title contender and arguably the scariest team in the Western Conference.
As things currently stand, Houston has some big name pieces that would be better served as role players on championship teams. The Victor Oladipo situation has been covered in depth. There are three trade suitors out there for him, and he will almost certainly finish this season in a non-Rockets uniform.
But he isn’t the only vet on the roster that should be moved.
LA, meanwhile, is missing just a little bit of explosive firepower that would help the organization avoid an embarrassment like the one that was experienced against the Denver Nuggets in last year’s playoffs.
This week, Zach Buckley of the Bleacher Report outlined a path that could solve both teams’ issues.
In this proposed deal, the Clippers would receive John Wall, Ben McLemore, Danuel House Jr., a 2021 second-rounder, a 2022 first-rounder, and a 2024 second-rounder. The Rockets, meanwhile, would get Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Marcus Morris Sr., Ivica Zubac and Luke Kennard.
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
The primary benefit for Houston in this deal is the opportunity to rid itself of Wall’s massive four-year, $171 million deal that is set to pay him $44 million next season and then $47 million the season after that.
Wall is averaging 19.2 points and 6.0 assists in 30 minutes of action per game. He is a tremendous fan favorite and a great comeback story, but his production and role on the Rockets doesn’t warrant his paycheck. This is Christian Wood’s team now, and Houston needs to rebuild it around him accordingly.
For the Clippers, this is a perfect opportunity to address the one request Kawhi Leonard made of the organization before the season even commenced.
The hits keep coming. https://t.co/tAgVSV1zRh
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 11, 2021
When the game slows down in the postseason, LA needs someone other than Leonard and Paul George who can initiate the offense. Wall would be that person. Does he come with a hefty price tag? Of course. Would that deter Steve Ballmer? No.
The Clippers are one of five teams that has been linked to Lonzo Ball, who would also help — but Wall would be a much better fit.
When high-priced veterans like Wall are moved in the NBA, generally whoever takes them on is seen as the loser. Big money for declining stats and whatnot. Given the Clippers’ unique position as a title contender and their glaring hole in the backcourt, however, that wouldn’t be the case this time around.
This trade would be a win-win for both sides – presuming the front offices are brave enough to actually pull the trigger.