John Wall and the Houston Rockets are headed for a split.
Both sides have agreed to work together to find a trade partner for the veteran guard, The Athletic’s Shams Charania and ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported. That’s the easy part.
Finding a willing partner to take on the remaining $91.7 million on his contract will be the hard part. Wall is due $44.3 million next season and has a player option for 2022-23 worth $47.4 million that he’ll surely exercise barring a buyout. It’s a hefty sum for an oft-injured guard who shot 40.4% from the field last season.
Can Rockets find a trade partner?
The Rockets are committed to developing 19-year-old Jalen Green and 21-year-old Kevin Porter Jr. as their starting backcourt, according to the report, making the 31-year-old Wall expendable. The presumed departure of Wall would be the latest in a series of high-profile backcourt exits from Houston as it’s transitioned from contender to a rebuild. Since 2019, the Rockets have parted with Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and now, presumably, Wall.
Wall returned to basketball last season after missing most of the previous two seasons with bone spurs and an Achilles tear. The five-time All-Star averaged 20.6 points, 6.9 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 40 games, all starts. His aforementioned field-goal percentage and 31.7% rate from 3-point distance add up to a tough sell alongside his contract.
Wall’s scoring and playmaking ability could certainly add value to a contender seeking a veteran guard if Houston manages to work out a deal.