John Wall could be heading to his third NBA team in the near future.
After reportedly deciding to opt in to the final year of his contract with Houston, multiple reports have pegged the former Wizards point guard as a buyout candidate with the Rockets. Per Kelly Iko of The Athletic, “Sources say a breakup between Wall and the franchise is gaining momentum, with both sides expected to meet this week with Wall’s hope of a resolution — a trade or, more likely, a buyout — by the June 30 start of free agency.”
Marc Stein also reports that if Wall and the Rockets eventually do agree on a buyout, the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat have emerged as potential suitors for the point guard, with the Los Angeles Lakers also showing a bit of interest.
Houston has looked to find a trade partner for Wall in the past but his max salary figure ($47.7 million in 2022-23) and injury history have made finding a deal difficult.
Wall, 31, missed the entire 2019-20 with the Wizards due to a torn Achilles. Washington then shipped the five-time All-Star to the Rockets in a deal that landed them fellow star point guard Russell Westbrook, who has since been traded to the Lakers. Wall has played just 40 games over the last three seasons, during which time he’s earned $123.7 million in contract payments.
When he was playing for the Rockets during that 2020-21 season, though, Wall showed flashes of his old self. He averaged 20.6 points, 6.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game that season in Houston. He suffered a hamstring strain in April 2021, ending his season. Wall has not suited up in an NBA game since then.
Though his career has been derailed by injuries of late, Wall could still find a role as the primary point guard for a contender in the modern NBA.
Several teams are in need of a veteran point guard, and though the Washington Wizards fit into that category, there has been no indication that they have included Wall in their list of potential free-agent targets. Wall could gel nicely with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the Clippers, as his explosive, pass-first style could open up the floor for the larger ball handlers. Miami, the other team linked to Wall by Stein, would likely either utilize him as a backup behind Kyle Lowry or use Wall as the main point guard with Lowry working off the ball.
Either way, John Wall's days in Houston appear numbered. His days in Washington cemented him as one of the most dynamic, effective floor generals in basketball while healthy. If a buyout is to happen, Wall would look to reassert his dominance for his next club.