Even though the LA Clippers already had a guard-heavy roster, matching Tyrone Wallace’s offer from the New Orleans Pelicans was the right move.
In what can only be described as a highly unexpected move, the LA Clippers announced late Wednesday night that they have matched Tyrone Wallace‘s offer sheet from the New Orleans Pelicans and will retain the 24-year-old guard.
“We identified Tyrone as a versatile, competitive and tough-minded player who adds to the organizational culture” said Lawrence Frank, via a press release from Clippers PR.
Upon first glance, the move seems confusing. After all, the roster is full of guards — eight to be exact — and the Clippers still need to shed a few players before opening night. Now that they’ve retained Wallace, the roster stands at 17 — two above the threshold.
However, that’s exactly the point. Wallace clearly has more value on the roster as a combo guard than guys like Jawun Evans or even Milos Teodosic have, as pure, less-than-versatile point guards that lack a long-term role with the team. So instead of cutting just one of those two players, the Clippers can cut both and boast a stacked guard rotation featuring Patrick Beverley, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Wallace.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Wallace’s offer from the Pelicans was worth $3.1 million over two years. That’s far less than Teodosic is set to make this year ($6.3 million), and about equal to what Evans will make over the next two seasons ($2.9 million, if the Clippers exercise their team option).
Predicting the Clippers’ next move won’t be easy, though it also may not be urgent. The team does have five weeks to prepare their final roster, giving them ample time to make a decision.
In the simplest terms, the Clippers were smart to match Wallace’s offer sheet because he holds more value than some guards currently on the roster. If the idea is to field the most competitive team possible (and it surely is), then this is absolutely the right move.