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Clippers Blog: John Wall motivated to thrive in a complementary role

John Wall recently signed his two-year, $13.2M contract with the Los Angeles Clippers and Hedgeout.net explains why the former All-Star is set for a major comeback in his career.

In late June, Wall picked up his player option with the Houston Rockets, worth $47M. After agreeing to a buyout with the franchise, he cleared waivers and joined the Clippers.

The 31-year-old has the chance to return to title contention with the Clippers, after a turbulent period with season-ending injuries.

John Wall wants to return to his All-Star level this season, six years after the last time he played more than half of his team’s games (2016).

“I kind of looked at the picture of like, where can I go I don’t have to be the John Wall from 2016 and have to carry the load and do all those and have the pressure on me?” Wall said a couple of weeks ago, via Andrew Greif of Los Angeles Times.

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With that in mind, here are two reasons why the five-time All-Star guard is an excellent fit for the Clippers.

Motivation

John Wall, the No.1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, had the potential to become one of the league’s best point guards.

Despite playing at the highest level for consecutive seasons, he never managed to reach the Conference Finals. He has only gone as far as the semi-finals in 37 postseason appearances.

With injuries derailing his career since 2018, there has been concern on whether he will play at a high level again. Wall has played just 40 games over the past three seasons, averaging 20.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.1 steals.

“Everybody kept saying he’s hurt. I wasn’t hurt at all. I was ready to play, I just was in a bad situation — well, not bad situation, but a situation I couldn’t control. And it was understandable. Like I said, nothing hard against those guys,” Wall told Greif.

Being 31 years old, he knows he will not have many opportunities to fight for the title. So pursuing a championship is a priority for Wall and the main reason he inked a deal with the Clippers.

Proving doubters wrong, his motivation for a major comeback and his competitiveness could make him a game changer for the Clippers next season.

“I’m just happy to play basketball again. I’m a competitor. I know a lot of people ask me, are you mad if you start or not start — I don’t care.

I’m a competitor and I just want an opportunity to go out there and compete for a spot and if I get it I get it,” John Wall told Yahoo Sports.

John Wall Rockets
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

John Wall’s playing style will allow him to thrive in a complementary role for Clippers

John Wall brings experience and excellent playmaking skills at the point guard position. His pass-first, high-tempo playing style will be vital for the Clippers whenever Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are on the bench.

Wall knows the pressure of success will not be on his shoulders for the first time in his career. He believes this will benefit him and is ready to embrace a complementary role.

“For me, I’m happy because I don’t have to have the best player guarding me every night like I have had my whole career.

You tell me the third-best defender is going to have to guard me? Good luck,” John Wall said, via Yahoo Sports.

John Wall Clippers Rockets
Carmen Mandato/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Being healthy and excited to be part of a deep Clippers roster with enough talent, John Wall knows he will need to fight for his role in the roster.

He is not expected to be a starter, so head coach Tyronn Lue expects him to make the difference on both ends as part of the second unit.

“I’m just like, OK, this is a team that I can fit with. Watching where I feel like they need some speed, and someone who can break down the defense, get into the paint.

Find guys. That’s what my job was. That’s what I’ve done my whole career. And getting people paid. That’s what I do,” Wall said, via Andrew Greif.

Overall, John Wall has a great chance to prove he has returned to the top level and sees the Clippers as his best shot at winning the championship.

Even if he comes off the bench, he is motivated to make the difference and help the franchise have a championship run.

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