Before the season tipped off, John Wall and the Rockets agreed he would sit out while both sides looked for a trade and the Rockets got to play and develop their young talent. The problem is a trade was always a long shot because Wall is owed $91 million — including $47.4 million next season — and no team is going to take on that salary unless Houston wants to throw in some first-round picks/young players as sweeteners (which no rebuilding team would do). It looked more and more like Wall was going to sit out the entire season.
Wall and the Rockets had agreed on him sitting out until a trade could be found, but the five-time All-Star guard talked to Houston general manager Rafael Stone on Friday about restarting discussions on a return to the active roster, sources said. The two sides are expected to continue talks on Sunday.
For Wall to play this season, a compromise probably would need to be found between respecting his stature with a supermax contract and the Rockets’ desire to have him play a complementary role to help develop their young core.
There are teams interested in Wall if he is bought out, but he reportedly does not want to give up any of next year’s salary, and Wojnarowski reports there is no traction on a buyout.
The Rockets are starting Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. in the backcourt and will continue to play them 30+ minutes a night. Would Wall come off the bench and take over DJ Augustin‘s 12.5 minutes a night? Could he play off the ball some as well?
John Wall can help the 2-16 Rockets, both on the court as a player — he averaged 20 points a game for them across 40 games last season — and he can help provide professionalism in the locker room. The Rockets’ young players looked lost and overwhelmed at points, a veteran on the court can help settle them down and develop as players.