John Wall is under contract for two more seasons with the Houston Rockets. However, word broke on Tuesday that Wall and the Rockets are reportedly working toward a resolution that would send the former No. 1 overall pick to a new team in the near future. Following the initial reporting from Shams Charania of The Athletic that included the nugget that a buyout is not currently on the table, Danielle Lerner of the Houston Chronicle indicates that the Rockets are also “unlikely to move him before the trade deadline.”
Updated with additional info including this: The Rockets are not looking to buy out Wall's contract right now and are unlikely to move him before the trade deadline. https://t.co/2rhoPyEjux
— Danielle Lerner (@danielle_lerner) September 14, 2021
If Wall is both unlikely to be bought out and unlikely to be traded before a deadline that is months away, the reality could be that of a stalemate between the two sides. All of the public reporting indicates that the situation isn’t toxic, with the Rockets valuing Wall’s professionalism and experience, but Houston has a jam-packed backcourt and they are clearly in the midst of a rebuild.
While Wall’s contract includes a player option for the 2022-23 NBA season, his recent play, combined with injury issues, make it a virtual lock that he will exercise that option, and the former No. 1 overall pick is owed nearly $92 million over those two campaigns. It is certainly possible that the former All-Star guard could return to a strong level on the floor but, practically speaking, the contract is clearly underwater in terms of the current trade market, and the Rockets may be better off simply letting the deal expire if either side doesn’t want a buyout.
It will be interesting to see how this progresses. However, a string of reports in mid-September sets the stage for what could be a real waiting game, particularly if Wall has a desire to return to the floor this season.