That sounded tenuous, at best, when he said it in February. It’s even more specious now that Houston has remade its roster around four first-round picks and other young players.
So, Wall and the Rockets are headed toward a breakup.
After meeting and seeing eye-to-eye on the direction of the Houston Rockets, the franchise and John Wall have agreed on working together to find a new home for the five-time All-Star guard, sources tell The Athletic.
The plan is for Wall to remain present around the Rockets entering training camp, which begins late this month, and to not play in games for Houston this season, sources said.
Sources said there are no buyout plans
It will be difficult to trade Wall, who’s due $91,677,600 over the next two years. His contract is toxic. Though he could help some teams in a limited role, potential trade partners will struggle to match his $44,310,840 salary this season without including players more valuable than him.
Wall has declined considerably. He shot 45% on 2-pointers and 32% on 3-pointers last season. His assists (10.1), rebounds (4.7) and steals (1.5) per 100 possessions were career lows. He missed 32 games.
Maybe a team will be tantalized by his 20.6 points per game last season and All-Star history. But it’s tough to find reasonable trades.
Which leaves releasing Wall. Teams nearly always say a buyout won’t happen right until the moment a buyout happens. That could easily get revisited after the trade deadline (or sooner).
The question: How long will the NBA allow this arrangement to persist?
The league has taken a particular interest in player availability for nationally televised games. The Rockets have only one game scheduled for ABC, TNT or ESPN – Nov. 10 against the Pistons. Cade Cunningham vs. Jalen Green will be the main attraction. Not Wall, regardless.
Which is Wall and Houston have reached this point.