John Wall got a Brinks truck full of money from a bad team, now he gets to join a contender in LA

Wall’s buyout from the Rockets will pay him nearly $41 million of the $47 million he would’ve gotten to play for Houston in 2022-23. Houston is now done with Wall, free to continue its rebuild, and Wall’s path back to the court is suddenly clear. He gets most of the money he’s owed by Houston, and he gets to sing and play for a contender this year in the LA Clippers. Once he clears waivers, of course.

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You couldn’t dream up a much sweeter deal than what Wall’s come across. Wall now joins a Clippers team that was two wins away from playing in the NBA Finals just two seasons ago. If not for injuries to Paul George and Kawhi Leonard this past season, who knows how far the Clippers could’ve gone.

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The only mystery about this deal is what’s expected from Wall after missing 40 games last season. It’s been five years since Wall has played anything close to an entire NBA campaign, when he played 78 games for Washington during the ‘16-17 season. Since then, he hasn’t played more than 41 games. Within that time, Wall has missed two full seasons (‘19-20 & ‘21-22) and dealt with multiple leg and foot injuries.

So this situation in Los Angeles with the Clippers might be the best scenario for Wall to make a complete comeback. There won’t be any pressure for him to come in and make a huge impact right away. The Clippers’ top priority is getting Leonard back on the floor and being as close as possible to the player he once was as he returns from an ACL tear suffered two postseasons ago.

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With George and Leonard handling the scoring load along with Reggie Jackson, Norman Powell, and others, the Clippers adding Wall rounds out a nice supporting cast for their two stars. If Wall can come in and be the primary ball-handler and playmaker, this could work out for the best. The Clippers won’t need Wall to score 20 ppg, and if he can settle into a lesser scoring role, this team could potentially be the biggest threat to the Golden State Warriors in the west next year.

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The biggest issue for LA is likely to be one that’s lingered for the last couple of years. Their perceived lack of leadership on the court. We know what kind of leadership the Clippers possess on the bench with head coach Tyronn Lue, but in-game leadership is what they’ve lacked since acquiring Leonard and George. Kawhi has never been too vocal, and George hasn’t always been seen as a leader.

If Wall can be quickly acclimated into this Clippers system plus a healthy Leonard and George for a full season, then we could be looking at the next “big three” in the NBA. There’s still a long way to go before these scenarios play out, but it’s fun to dream. 

Bradley Beal seems shocked: 'Wait, huh? Lol'

Just minutes later, Beal took to Twitter with this reaction:

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News broke over the weekend that Beal has indeed made a decision on his future but declined to go into detail at this time. What Beal meant precisely by his post is left open to interpretation. By his reaction, it doesn’t sound like Scotto and Hoopshype spoke with him about it, so Beal is likely wondering where they got their information.

While I think Beal will end up declining his option to become an unrestricted free agent, he clearly wasn’t ready to share that decision just yet. Should this be the case, it opens up plenty of options and routes for Beal to pursue.

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The way it currently stands, Boston has the best odds of landing Beal, should he opt out, followed by Portland, then Miami. Philadelphia has been mentioned regarding Beal, but they aren’t even in the top handful of teams favored to sign him. With their cap situation and James Harden looking like he’s going to receive a short-term extension, the odds of the 76ers acquiring Beal are slim. They don’t have the assets it would take for a sign and trade, plus their salary cap situation isn’t the best.

Celtics nation would love it if they could figure out a way to bring Beal into the fold. They have the assets and could trade multiple players for Beal, but after reaching the NBA Finals for the first time in over a decade, I’m not sure how eager they’d be to break the chemistry on this current team. The Celtics’ depth made them so dangerous this season, and they’d have to dip deep into that in any sign and trade scenario for Beal.

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Miami and the Heat culture have also been attached to buzz around where Beal will end up for quite some time. The Heat would present an excellent opportunity for Beal to immediately fit in and become the most skilled offensive player on the team. But he wouldn’t have to be the leader and could fit right in place as another cog of that “Heat culture” Pat Riley put in place.

Of course, speculation about where Beal will land wouldn’t be complete without the Los Angeles Lakers involvement. We’ve heard the Lakers mentioned being interested in Beal since last year. Sign and trade would be the only plausible way for the Lakers to acquire Beal. But other than Anthony Davis, the Lakers don’t have anyone else that would spark Washington’s interest in a trade.

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I don’t see the Wizards trading Beal to LA for Russell Westbrook and a couple of other players in return. LA can’t even throw draft picks at the Wizards since they don’t have many. Unless they just want to take on Russ’ expiring contract and begin rebuilding from there. So, it will take a miracle for the Lakers to land Beal without moving on from Davis in the process. I just don’t see that happening right now.

Although Beal hasn’t indicated his decision, we know he’s made one. He just won’t let us in on the secret. But it feels like he’s played his last game as a member of the Wizards organization. Bradley turns 29 on June 28 and is in his absolute prime as a professional athlete. It’s time to go somewhere and at least compete for the chance at a championship. We all know that isn’t happening in Washington, D.C. anytime soon.

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Why the Warriors dominated the Celtics

Sometimes it just feels good to be right. After proclaiming before the NBA Finals started that the Boston Celtics had zero chance against the Golden State Warriors, the Dubs beat the Celtics by double-digits in Game 6 to end the series 4-2. Many across the internet chided this bold proclamation based on the Cinderella…

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