ESPN writer Zach Lowe broke down the developing John Wall trade saga on “The Lowe Post” podcast on Thursday, throwing out hypothetical trades that would get Wall out of Houston. One team that has been floated around a bit as a potential destination for the five-time All-Star is the LA Clippers. Lowe, who did not claim to have any insider information, said that while the Clippers are one of the more plausible partners for the Rockets, simply because they can put salaries together to match the remaining two years and $91 million left on Wall’s contract, it ultimately wouldn’t make sense for them to pull the trigger on a deal.
“The Clippers, you can actually have an interesting theoretical discussion,” Lowe said to his fellow ESPN writer and podcast guest Tim MacMahon. “It has to be essentially this package: [Eric] Bledsoe, [Luke] Kennard, [Serge] Ibaka.”
It’s an interesting bundle of role players to offer. Wall would essentially replace Bledsoe as the backup point guard, and LA would lose their backup center in Ibaka (who struggled with back issues last season and was eventually forced to have season-ending surgery) and their backup shooting guard in Kennard, who is owed a significant chunk of change himself (a four-year, $64 million deal that kicks in this season).
Lowe would go on to invision Wall as a Clipper, getting to the rim and finding the myriad shooters with which LA could surround him. He also pitched the trade from Houston’s perspective.
“If you’re the Rockets, none of those players are interesting, but you’re breaking one big contract into three movable ones,” Lowe said.
Lowe eventually stated that he doesn’t see the Clippers making a deal for Wall, because they would be getting the inverse of this big-contract breakup. He cites that they had no interest in acquiring another overpaid, aging point guard in Russell Westbrook when he became available, and that they’d be handcuffed to Wall’s huge contract for the next two seasons.
“I just don’t see it,” he concluded. “I think they value their optionality too much.”