The Houston Rockets and five-time All-Star John Wall have agreed to go their separate ways, which is understandable given that a 31-year-old veteran is not ideal for a clear rebuilding scenario. But it is the terms of the final break that remain problematic for both the player and the team.
With a contract that requires Wall to be paid nearly $ 92 million Over the next two seasons, Wall is widely viewed by most NBA watchers as having negative business value in 2021. In other words, to make it worth another team to accept this contract bloated, the Rockets should entice them by attaching something else to Wall – like first-round assets – to make it worth it. While Wall remains a good player, he’s no longer the All-Star he was when the deal was signed, and he’s had a number of health issues in recent years as well.
Still, from Houston’s perspective, it doesn’t make sense to include draft assets just to offload Wall immediately – as draft picks are crucial to GM Rafael Stone’s rebuilding plan. Additionally, the Rockets would not be interested in the longer-term payback, as they might be able to have a lot of headroom once Wall’s contract expires in 2023. But a contract buyout in 2021 doesn’t. doesn’t make sense either, both from the perspective of the huge price tag left on Wall’s deal and the hope that Wall might have more business value in 2022 when the other teams don’t get as much. ‘Financial commitment.
So, for now, Wall and the Rockets are on hold. As veteran ESPN reporter Tim MacMahon sees, the most likely outcome is that it will stay that way until a buyout deal for Wall’s contract can be reached in the 2022 offseason. that MacMahon told his colleague Zach Lowe in the last episode of The Lowe Post Podcast:
I’m assuming there will be a buyout next summer. The Rockets don’t want to have any buyout talks right now, and I don’t think John Wall wants to. If there is to be a deal this year, he will have to give back a lot of money to make it happen. Guess that would be way more than what Blake Griffin returned ($ 13.3 million) to exit Detroit.
It’s hard to watch that right now and say there’s a deal that makes sense that would take John Wall to another team, where he could play this year.
A buyout in 2022 is not inevitable, as current circumstances could change. For example, a point guard injury in the coming season could cause a team to become a more aggressive contender. It’s also possible that rival owners and CEOs will gradually become more open to spending on Wall, once his contract has less money guaranteed.
But even if that happens, being able to execute a trade is far from a given, given Houston’s reluctance to accept salaries that extend beyond Wall’s 2023 expiration date. With most NBA teams above the salary cap and having to send almost as much money into exchanges as they receive, it could be difficult to match Wall’s $ 44.3 million contract. for next season without including contracts beyond 2022-2023.
Finally, it’s conceivable that Wall will become desperate enough to play next season that he decides to give the Rockets a lot more money back in a buyout. But that doesn’t appear to be his position at the moment, as Wall and the Rockets would be on the same page about the plan to keep him on Houston’s roster for the foreseeable future (and around the squad at camp. ‘training) but out of Games.
So the most reasonable scenario that doesn’t force Wall, the Rockets, or some other NBA team to deviate significantly from the status quo is a contract buyout in 2022. While far from a guarantee, this appears to be the clubhouse leader at the moment. for the most likely outcome.
Lowe Post podcast: @espn_macmahon and I on John Wall’s business landscape, the outlook for the Rockets and Mavs, the pressure on Jazz; so @Adam_Mares on Aaron Gordon, MPJ and the Nuggets’ expansion this season and beyond:
– Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) September 16, 2021