Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo via AP
Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported earlier Tuesday that the Houston Rockets and point guard John Wall had mutually agreed to work together to find the five-time All-Star a new home. In addition, Wall would not play any games as his camp and the team worked on finding his next destination.
Now comes word from Danielle Lerner of the Houston Chronicle that the Rockets will not be buying out the rest of Wall’s contract. In addition, the Rockets are unlikely to move him before the 2021-22 trade deadline.
Wall averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists in 45 games for the Rockets last season. He is owed $44,310,840 for the 2021-22 season. Wall also has a $47,366,760 player option for 2022-23 before becoming a free agent.
The Rockets are in full rebuilding mode after the end of the James Harden era last January. They added four first-round draft picks: Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, Usman Garuba and Josh Christopher.
Those players join a young and exciting roster that also includes Kevin Porter Jr., Jae’Sean Tate and Christian Wood.
Wall only played 73 games from the 2017-18 through 2019-20 seasons because of injury, including none in the latter year.
He’s still a very productive player despite missing so much time, but Wall is probably a better fit on a contending team at this stage of his 12-year career as the Rockets’ young players develop.
Houston also has a lot of cap space for the future. The Rockets notably have just $11,039,067 committed for the 2023-24 season, so they could add some key pieces around their young core en route to becoming title contenders again.
Ultimately, a parting of ways between Wall and the Rockets makes sense for both sides. Wall can find a team that he can contribute to as he searches for his first NBA Finals appearance, and the Rockets can fully jump into a new era featuring their young, potential stars as they look to bounce back from finishing last in the Western Conference.