Heat Named Buyout Destination for Former No. 1 Overall Pick

John Wall

Getty John Wall of the Los Angeles Clippers may be available soon.

Could point guard John Wall be an option for the Miami Heat?

Wall, 32, is halfway through what has been a somewhat disappointing season with the Los Angeles Clippers, and he could become available soon. In July of 2022, the veteran guard inked a two-year, $13.3 contract with L.A., which included $6.4 million guaranteed, but his name has been mentioned in trade rumors and he’s also being talked about as a buyout candidate.

The buyout market is generally full of players who have a mutual agreement with their respective clubs that they will part ways. Once the remainder of the player’s contract is negotiated, that player then hits the market, becoming an unrestricted free agent eligible to sign with any team who may want him.

Could that team be the Heat?

Wall Hasn’t Done Much in Lone Season With Clippers

The former Kentucky standout was the first overall pick of the 2010 NBA draft, taken by the Washington Wizards. He spent nine seasons with the Wizards before spending two years in Houston. Wall suffered an Achilles injury that kept him from playing during the 2018-19 season, and he and the Rockets mutually agreed to have him sit out during his 2021-22 campaign while they developed younger point guards and he recovered further.

After landing with the Clippers last year, he has been relegated to a rotational role, and when Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report made a list of potential buyout candidates, Wall’s was the first name mentioned.

“Wall has the lowest offensive rating on the team at 105 points per 100 possessions (tied with Amir Coffey), contributing to his near-bottom net rating of minus-6.6. Instead of Wall, the Clippers have relied on Terance Mann and Reggie Jackson, leaving Wall as trade bait going into the deadline,” Pincus wrote on February 6.

Wall is averaging 22.2 minutes per contest and is netting 11.4 points a game while shooting 40.8% from the field. The speedy point guard is also dishing out 5.2 assists and hauling in 2.7 boards per game (stats via Basketball Reference). All are career lows, but he could still be a valuable contributor to teams looking for point guard depth.

Wall Could Be Traded Before Buyout Happens

“If the team doesn’t trade him, Wall is a buyout candidate,” Pincus added. “But even if he is dealt, if the destination isn’t a playoff contender in need of a veteran backup, he could still be a free agent before the March 1 deadline.”

A trade is still very much on the table where Wall is concerned. NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on January 17 that the Clippers “have discussed” dealing Wall and Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times reported on February 3 that “multiple people across the league said the Clippers have been proactive in seeking trade partners for Wall.” Grief also revealed that the Clips “are considering the possibility of buying out the former five-time All-Star if a trade doesn’t materialize.”

At the time of publication, the Heat have an overall record of 29-25 and are in sixth place in the East. They are very much contenders yet again, and adding a player of Wall’s caliber would be an intriguing move.

If he becomes available — and it’s looking more and more like he will — he’s someone the Heat should take a long look at.

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