While Reggie Jackson started every game at point guard for the LA Clippers last season, the arrival of John Wall makes that starting spot less of a guarantee. In a recent television appearance, ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk reported that the Clippers will have Wall and Jackson compete for the starting spot in training camp.
On paper, Reggie is seemingly a better fit in the starting lineup, while Wall is seemingly a better fit with the bench; however, with Wall having started 601 of his 613 career games, a spot on the bench may not be where he's most comfortable. There is no reason to believe John Wall would not be open to whatever role the Clippers feel he's best in, but having been a starter for nearly every single game of his career, that role is essentially all he knows. The same can be said for most of Reggie Jackson's tenure in Los Angeles, along with his time in Detroit, but having played 237 career games off the bench, as opposed to Wall's 12, Reggie has spent much more time as a reserve in his career than John Wall has.
While all of this is something to consider, the ultimate decision should come down to fit. As things stand currently, Reggie Jackson's skillset seems to compliment the starting group better, while John Wall's game seems to compliment the bench better. Having played alongside Kawhi Leonard and Paul George quite a bit, Reggie has become comfortable operating as a catch and shoot guy off the ball.
Hitting 45.3% of his catch and shoot threes during the 2020-21 season, and a ridiculous 46.0% clip on those shots during that postseason, Reggie established himself as one of the game's elite catch and shoot threats. While these numbers declined last season, likely due to the increased role he was forced to take on in the absence of both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Reggie's history as a catch and shoot threat has already proven successful alongside Kawhi and PG.
On the other side, while John Wall hit 38.4% of his catch and shoot threes the last season he played, his skillset primarily revolves around downhill penetration and playmaking, which is something the Clippers could desperately use in their second unit. Likely to feature some combination of Luke Kennard, Marcus Morris, Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington, and maybe even Norman Powell, the Clippers' bench group will be loaded with shooters. Allowing John Wall to operate with this type of spacing would seemingly be the best use of his skillset, despite his respectable outside shot.
There are several factors to consider when discussing the starting point guard debate, many of which the Clippers will have an opportunity to evaluate in training camp. While the current situation is being described as a competition, it seems more likely that the ultimate decision will come down to fit, rather than which point guard out-classed the other in training camp.
Regardless of what the team decides to do on opening night, head coach Ty Lue has proven the ability and willingness to adjust, and will likely have no problem altering the starting lineup if necessary.