AP sources: Wall to be acquired, intends to join Clippers | Sports News

By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Basketball Writer

John Wall and the Houston Rockets have agreed that his contract will be bought out, a move that will free him up to sign with any team he chooses, two people with knowledge of the situation said Monday night.

Wall’s preference will be to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to one of the people who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the five-time All-Star guard had not publicly announced his intentions.

Wall will receive about $41 million from Houston, according to the other person who spoke with AP. Wall was expected to earn $47.4 million this season, his last under a four-year contract.

Yahoo first reported that Wall and the Rockets made the takeover decision. ESPN first reported that Wall intended to join the Clippers, presumably for the mid-level taxpayer exception of around $6.4 million — essentially the same amount he gives back to the Rockets to become a free agent. No deal can be made between Wall and a team until he clears the waivers and becomes a free agent.

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Wall has been training for the past few weeks, including some sessions at the University of Miami.

Wall played 40 games for Houston during the 2020-21 season, averaging 20.6 points and 6.9 assists. He played his first nine seasons in Washington and, for his career, averaged 19.1 points and 9.1 assists in 613 regular season games.

Wall did not appear in any games for Houston last season. The Rockets are rebuilding around a young core, and Wall — who turns 32 in September — wasn’t going to be part of their plans for the future.

He was selected for the All-Star Game for five consecutive seasons from 2014 to 2018. Since the last of those selections 4 1/2 seasons ago, he has played exactly 82 games, including the playoffs – the equivalent of an NBA season – while earning $150 million in salary and having his career derailed by injuries.

Wall has a long history of injury and surgery. He underwent surgeries on both knees in 2016, saw his 2018-19 season end prematurely due to surgery for bone spurs in his left heel, then a tear in his left Achilles tendon required a another operation in 2019 and a one-year recovery plan.

He has not appeared in an NBA game since April 23, 2021.

The Wall and the Rockets development reaching a buyout deal comes the same day another high-profile point guard – Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving – announced he was exercising his $36.9 million option for the latest year of his agreement with the Nets.

NBA free agency officially opens with the start of trading windows on Thursday. In most cases, new contracts can be signed from July 6.

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