Bets during Baseball Season 

John Wall’s eventual signing puts the Clippers as an early favorite to win the 2023 NBA Finals

After agreeing to a contract buyout with the Houston Rockets on Monday, point guard John Wall has the intention of signing with the Los Angeles Clippers when free agency begins tomorrow.

When the odds opened up for who would win the 2023 NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Clippers opened as +600 favorites, which tied them with four other teams for the best odds. With the news of the eventual Wall signing, the Clippers moved up to +550 odds which is tied with the Golden State Warriors for the best odds.

Outlook for 2023 Clippers

All signs point to the Clippers being back at full strength with forward Kawhi Leonard coming back from a torn ACL that he suffered in the 2021 playoffs. Small forward Paul George will also be back after only appearing in 31 games last season due to a sprained UCL in his right elbow. In the 31 games George played in, he averaged 24 points, seven rebounds, and almost seven assists on 42% shooting.

The Wall signing will help with their backcourt depth that already consists of Reggie Jackson, Norman Powell, and Terance Mann. Wall will undoubtedly come in with some rust after he and the Rockets agreed that it would be best for him to sit out for the whole season last year.

Wall last played in 40 games in 2020-2021, averaging 20 points and seven assists on 40% shooting from the field and 31% from three.

I’m sure the Clippers would love those shooting splits to be improved upon, but at this stage in Wall’s career it seems like a mute point.

It remains to be seen how much athleticism is left in the tank at 31 years old, but if Wall’s passing vision hasn’t changed at all, that alone will be a big boost.

Another wrinkle with this Clippers team (like a lot of NBA teams) is load management. In the past two seasons that Leonard and George have played together, they’ve both appeared in less than 57 games each season. That number may even go down with Leonard coming off a torn ACL, but this Clippers team has shown in the past few years how resilient they are as a whole.

It’s also worth mentioning that in the two years Leonard and George have been on the court together, they’ve helped the Clippers grab the second-seed and the fourth-seed in back-to-back seasons.

Where should expectations really be?

From what the Clippers have displayed in the last three seasons when they’re fully healthy, they have every right to be in the title conversation. Outside of the 2020 playoffs, the Clippers have dealt with major injuries that have halted their championship journey.

The biggest hurdle for the Clippers next season will be injuries, but if they can use load management correctly, like they have, it won’t matter what seed they are. The defensive versatility that the Clippers possess is something special and as long as they squeak into the playoffs healthy, they’ll be a tough task for any team.

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