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Report: John Wall increasingly likely to sit entire season

Rockets guard John Wall

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets sits on the bench during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Toyota Center on October 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

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John Wall and the rebuilding Rockets agreed he wouldn’t play for Houston this season. The Rockets also reportedly probably won’t trade or buy out Wall until at least next summer.

If it sounds like Wall will sit the whole season… that’s because Wall appears likely to sit the whole season.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

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.

It has seemed likely for nearly two months Wall wouldn’t play in the NBA this season. Did something happen that increased the odds even further? Or has it just become more likely because more time has passed without a surprising development?

Wall’s $44,310,840 salary makes a trade very difficult to construct just in terms of salary matching. The $47,366,760 he’s due next season makes Wall a severely negative-value player.

Though a buyout is possible, Wall would understandably be reluctant to sacrifice his guaranteed money. Likewise, Houston might not be rushing to buy him out. If Wall gets bought out, his remaining salary would become an unmovable cap hit. If kept until next year, Wall would be at least hypothetically useful in a trade with his large expiring contract .

It’s somewhat surprising Wall and the NBA are each on board with this plan. He relished returning last season after missing two full calendar years due to injury. The league has sometimes cracked down on teams sitting healthy players.

But the 31-year-old has declined considerably from his prime and ended last season hurt. It’s not certain he’d even be worthy of a rotation spot if the Rockets were trying their hardest to win, anyway.

That said, it’s tough to assess Wall’s current ability while he’s inactive -- a status that appears unlikely to change any time soon.