The Los Angeles Clippers 2021-22 season was marred by injuries to their star players. Clippers training camp will now be all about the Clippers players making their way back to the court in hopes that the 2022-23 season will be different. Chances are it will be very, very different.
For starters, LA figures to have both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the court together after Leonard missed the entire season, and George was limited to just 31 games. That alone should help the Clippers easily secure a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Behind Leonard and George, the Clippers have a very deep squad that should help them make some noise this upcoming season. One free agent signing in particular could end up shocking the NBA world, though, so let’s take a look at who that player is and see why he could end up having such a big impact for Los Angeles next season.
Clippers player who could shock the world next season: John Wall
John Wall emerged as one of the most explosive guards in the NBA early in his career with the Washington Wizards. He was a fantastic finisher in the paint, while also being one of the best passing point guards in the entire league. With Wall and Bradley Beal at the controls, the Wizards were typically in good hands.
Things haven’t gone Wall’s way recently, though, and it’s seen him play just 40 games over the past three seasons. He missed the entire 2019-20 and 2021-22 seasons, one with injury, and one because the Houston Rockets simply wanted to play their younger talent over Wall. The Rockets finally decided to buy out Wall earlier this offseason, and he ended up signing with the Clippers in free agency.
Wall’s signing could end up being one of the most underrated moves of the entire offseason. Wall admittedly hasn’t played much over the past few seasons, but if he looks anything close to the player he once was, the Clippers will benefit greatly from his addition.
The last time we saw Wall was during the 2020-21 season. In 40 games, Wall’s per game averages were pretty solid (20.6 PPG, 6.9 APG, 3.2 RPG, 40.4 FG%) and showed that he could still be an effective player in the league. His shooting percentage was low thanks to playing on a horrible Rockets team, but that’s not a massive concern.
If Wall can be a secondary scoring option behind Leonard and George, while racking up somewhere between seven to nine assists per game, the Clippers are going to be in trouble. The problem is that nobody knows what to expect from Wall this upcoming season.
That’s the main reason why he could be set to shock the world in his first season in Los Angeles. For the most part, Wall has fallen off the map in the NBA over the past three seasons. He was a great player during his time with the Wizards, but how much of a toll have his injuries and time off taken on his skills?
The reviews Wall has gotten this offseason from those who have seen him train have been encouraging. Folks have said Wall looks fresh and ready to go for the upcoming season, which is a great sign. A benefit of sitting out last season is that there won’t be any carry over in terms of the wear and tear of the previous season for Wall.
For all intents and purposes, Wall is going to get a chance to prove he can still play. He seems set to be the teams’ starting point guard when the regular season tips off, which was no sure thing given Reggie Jackson’s presence on the roster. Playing Wall in a starting capacity will give him the ability to potentially find his footing in his return to the court.
Wall has all the tools at his disposal to be a comeback player for LA this season. Playing alongside Leonard and George will obviously help, but so will playing for a winning team. He’s going to get thrown into the fire right off the bat too, so chances are we will find out just how good Wall is early on in the season.
Whether or not Wall’s talent has been sapped by his injuries and time off remains to be seen. But if he can solidify his spot as the Clippers starting point guard, anything else he accomplishes could shock the NBA. John Wall has certainly had a long road back from his various absences, but there’s a decent chance he’s able to put together a very strong bounce back campaign in his first season with the Clippers.