Tyrone Wallace started last season with the Clippers’ G-League team in Ontario, got signed to a two-way deal with the team in January, and with all the injuries Los Angeles suffered Wallace got thrown into NBA action quickly, playing 31 minutes in his first game for them, and getting into 30 overall. He looked like a guy ready for the NBA. He’s a versatile player who can play — and more importantly defend — both guard positions, working well with or without the ball. He doesn’t have enough shooting range yet, his ball handling and decision making need to get better, and he needs to play smarter team defense, but he made the Clippers better and looked like a rotation NBA guard.
The Pelicans have taken notice, and they are trying to poach Wallace away from the Clippers, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
This is a win for Wallace, who would have been on a two-way contract with the Clippers but now gets a guaranteed contract. He earned that.
Don’t expect the Clippers to match this offer for two reasons.
First, the Clippers have 15 players already under guaranteed contracts, and that doesn’t count Patrick Beverley, who they will certainly keep, so the Clippers already have to cut player before the season starts. Match the Wallace offer and that becomes two.
Second, the Clippers already are stacked at the guard spot: Beverley, Milos Teodosic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Avery Bradley, Lou Williams, Jerome Robinson, and Sindarius Thornwell. There isn’t a need for Wallace.
New Orleans, on the other hand, needs guard depth. Jrue Holiday is a borderline All-Star, but after that their guards are Elfrid Payton, Ian Clark, Frank Jackson and Trevon Bluiett. Wallace will get run there.