The Houston Rockets will try to move one of the highest-paid players in the league, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
John Wall and the Rockets front office have reportedly agreed that the 5x All-Star will not again suit up for the franchise. Instead, he will remain near the team while the front office looks to find him a new home. While it feels as if finding a suitor for a player who averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists should not be all that difficult … we have to remember Wall’s history.
After years of sitting near the top of the totem pole with the Wizards, Wall became one of the most injury-plagued players in the league. He played only 41 regular-season games in 2017-18 due to a knee injury. Then, during the 2018-19 campaign, Wall suffered a season-ending heel injury after 32 games. He proceeded to experience an infection in his foot and later went on to rupture his Achilles while off the court, which all led to him missing the entirety of the 2019-20 season. With all those injuries in mind, Wall was sidelined for a total of 736 days.
Right before all this bad injury luck, Wall signed a massive four-year, $171.1 million deal. And while it felt like an untradable contract, the Wizards reminded us there was no such thing when they swapped Wall for Russell Westbrook last offseason. Wall went on to appear in 40 games last season for the 17-55 Rockets.
The Rockets will now try to do the same thing, which feels even more complicated knowing another highly-paid veteran like Westbrook is not currently available for a swap. And before you ask about a possible buyout situation, it appears neither side has any interest. And, hey, Wall shouldn’t! The guy has $44.3 million coming his way this season, and he has a player option worth $47.4 million next season.
Sources said there are no buyout plans on the two years and $91.7 million remaining on Wall’s contract — including a $47.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season. Story: https://t.co/oKzzdKR2zt https://t.co/dYQm533ZyF
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 14, 2021
Again, I know we have been shown over and over that no contract is untradable in today’s league, but I do have to imagine this one will take some time. What team is going to take on that chunk of change midseason (or this late in the offseason when basketball budgets are largely set)? I suppose a tanking franchise could arise if Houston looks to put significant draft capital on the table just to get Wall off the books, but we will have to wait to see how that plays out. After all, Wall (on paper) is probably best suited playing for a contender of sorts. His ability to stay on the court might always be in question, but he showed in spurts that he can still be an effective playmaker when fully healthy.
For Houston, the decision to part ways with Wall makes plenty of sense. They are looking to revamp the franchise around No. 2-overall pick Jalen Green and a roster stuffed with other intriguing young talents.