John Wall isn’t expected to play for the Rockets this season and it doesn’t appear any teams are willing to gamble on his contract, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on tonight’s “NBA Countdown” (hat tip to Doric Sam of Bleacher Report).
“There are no plans for John Wall to play for the Rockets, and it’s becoming increasingly likely that John Wall may not play anywhere in the NBA this season because the cost of his contract right now is just too prohibitive,” Wojnarowski said.
The 31-year-old point guard is owed nearly $91.7MM over the next two seasons, which breaks down to a $44,310,840 salary this year with a $47,366,760 player option for 2022/23. Wojnarowski suggested that the only way for Wall to engineer a trade to another team would be to turn down that option in advance.
“Any team that would potentially trade for him would want him to decline that option,” Woj said. “Well, he’s not doing that, he’s not giving that money back.”
Wall reached an agreement with the Rockets in September that he would sit out games while the team explored trade possibilities. Since that time, he has served as a de facto assistant coach, working with the team’s young players but with no intent to actually see any playing time.
Houston acquired Wall before the start of last season, sending Russell Westbrook to the Wizards and picking up a lottery-protected first-round pick in 2023. Wall was able to revive his career somewhat after missing a year and a half because of injuries. He appeared in 40 games for the Rockets and averaged 20.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per night.
It appears a buyout is the only way for Wall to join another team, but the amount of money he would have to give up may be too high for that to be realistic.