Rockets, John Wall agree he won’t play as sides work together on trade: Sources

by 24USATVSept. 15, 2021, midnight 17
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After meeting and seeing eye-to-eye on the direction of the Houston Rockets, the franchise and John Wall have agreed on working together to find a new home for the five-time All-Star guard, sources tell The Athletic.

The plan is for Wall to remain present around the Rockets entering training camp, which begins late this month, and to not play in games for Houston this season, sources said. Wall is entering his second year in Houston after spending most of his career with Washington.

In a meeting between Wall and the Rockets recently, Houston officials explained to Wall the direction of the franchise and that the team wants to protect the veteran guard’s health. The Rockets explained that the team does not want to jeopardize Wall’s fitness, and the sides agreed on the route that won’t complicate his ability to continue playing at a high level.

Sources said there are no buyout plans on the two years and $91.7 million remaining on Wall’s contract — including a $47.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season.

Wall is entering his 12th NBA season and both he and the Rockets recognize each side is in different phases. In 40 games last season, Wall averaged 20.6 points, 6.9 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 32.2 minutes per game, re-establishing himself as an effective lead guard after rehabbing knee and Achilles injuries.

The Rockets, meanwhile, are retooling around a talented young core of Christian Wood, No. 2 overall pick Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr., All-Rookie first-team forward Jae’Sean Tate and intriguing first-round picks Alperen Şengün, Josh Christopher and Usman Garuba. Athletic second-year forward KJ Martin has also been a bright spot of the Rockets’ rebuild. Through draft picks and free-agency moves — including signing veteran center Daniel Theis — the Rockets have the promise of a competitive, young roster.

Houston’s front office, led by general manager Rafael Stone, has added assets and franchise pieces in rebuilding in the aftermath of the James Harden trade.

The Rockets have had discussions with free-agent point guards in the marketplace in recent days, sources said.

Houston acquired Wall and a first-round pick from the Washington Wizards for Russell Westbrook prior to last season’s training camp.

Wall, 31, was an All-Star in each season from 2013-2018, earning third-team All-NBA honors in 2016-17.

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