How John Wall’s contract impacts potential trade from Rockets


The John Wall experiment in Houston is over.

According to a report of The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Wall and the Rockets have mutually agreed to work together to find a new team for the five-time All-Star. Charania’s report says Wall will be attending training camp, but he won’t play a game for the Rockets this season.

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The news comes less than a year after the Rockets acquired Wall in a successful trade that sent Russell Westbrook to the Wizards, the first domino to fall in a series of moves that kicked off a complete rebuild in Houston. . Just over a month after trading for Wall, Houston sent franchise cornerstone James Harden to Brooklyn, officially turning the page on the Rockets’ next chapter.

Let’s dissect the latest news on the wall situation with three key questions that will ultimately determine what happens next.

How Much Money Does John Wall Make?

It’s the elephant in the room and where every conversation on Wall begins. In the summer of 2017, Wall signed a new four-year, $ 170 million extension with the Wizards that will run throughout the 2022-23 season.

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According to Spotrac, Wall is expected to earn $ 44.3 million this season and has a player option for $ 47.4 million in 2022-23. The only player currently slated to do more than Wall this coming season is Stephen Curry.

The highest paid players in the NBA
Player Salary 2021-22 Signed by
Stephen curry $ 45.8M 2025-26
Jean Wall $ 44.3 million 2022-23
James harden $ 44.3 million 2022-23
Russell westbrook $ 44.2 million 2022-23
Kevin Durant $ 42.0M 2025-26

According to Sharania, there is no current buyout plan, which means the team negotiating for Wall will ultimately absorb the remaining $ 91.7 million on his contract. Given the astronomical figure in 2022-2023, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which Wall would retire early.

How much does John Wall have left in the tank?

It shouldn’t be so surprising that Wall’s piece no longer exactly screams “a $ 44 million player.” It’s not Rocket science.

In addition to the obvious health issues – he appeared in 113 of a possible 308 games dating back to the 2017-18 season and missed the entire 2019-20 season after suffering an Achilles break – Wall n ‘style of play. is not so easy to place himself next to an established star with ball dominance.

Wall just turned 31, and we would likely have a conversation about his declining physical abilities, even without the context of his injury history, given the way he plays. In his athletic heyday, Wall slowed down from baseline to baseline perhaps faster than any player in the league, attacking in the open and putting recovering defenders in awe.

And yet, even before Achilles’ breakup robbed Wall of his elite explosiveness, his offensive play never fully translated into a half court. Although he sometimes surprised sleepy defenders with well-timed cuts, Wall never became a reliable threat off the ball, and much of the back half of his prime was spent swinging in a two-man tango. awkward “your turn, my turn” with Bradley Beal.

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For Wall to find his way in 2021-2022 and beyond, he will need to perform a Jason Kidd-eque transformation.

Once an open-pit dynamo struggling from the outside, Kidd eventually reshaped his game to become an efficient grab-and-shoot option that could still dissect defenses with an odd passing ability. It’s Wall’s biggest hurdle moving forward, as he’s ranked below the league average in shooting every year of his career. And while outside shooting has never been a strength, Wall has never hit the league average on 2-point attempts.

There is still hope. All in all, Wall showed flashes last season, averaging 20.6 points and 6.9 assists in 40 games with the Rockets. He also averaged over 15 records per game and shot a respectable 49% on those records, almost identical to the numbers given by Donovan Mitchell and Jimmy Butler.

Does Wall’s short stint in Houston come with the asterisk that he shot the worst 40.4% of his career in the field? Yes. But much like Westbrook, Wall still has enough play to put pressure on opposing teams and remains a brilliant passer who, in the right situation, could add value.

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Where will John Wall play next?

Four factors will ultimately determine what happens next with Wall and the Rockets:

1. The $ 44 million price tag – along with the initial report that a buyout isn’t on the table until at least next summer – makes projecting where Wall lands incredibly difficult. Additional reports suggest the Rockets are unwilling to tie up a first-round pick for the sake of leaving Wall. Find a team with enough mobile contracts to absorb that price and doing it without receiving project compensation makes it difficult.

2. Timing is the key. With widely defined rosters and a training camp two weeks away, teams will likely want to see how their initial squad fits together before making such a drastic decision. Adding Wall after getting a buyout – like the Knicks did with Kemba Walker – would be one thing, but he’s a whole different animal. The Rockets have no way to turn the pressure on for a potentially interested team to move now, and Wall is no longer the “can’t afford to wait” type of target that requires a quick response.

3. The pool of tradable players grows on December 15th. This is the date on which players who signed new contracts in the last offseason can be traded. Until at least December 15, Houston is giving itself more options.

4. Wall and the Rockets are on good terms. As Charania noted in her report, Wall intends to show up to training camp and provide a stable, veteran presence in the locker room. Following last season’s fiasco with Harden, it was Wall who stepped up and provided much-needed stability and poise, a fact that has not escaped the front office and the coaching staff. from Houston.

Houston sees Wall as a positive influence on its young core, including No.2 pick Jalen Green, and for a team that recently parted ways with their longtime GM, head coach and franchise player, who don’t cannot be undersold.

In short: it can take a while. Maybe a mystery team is coming from the third string to the wall, but the best bet here is that this situation remains unresolved until well after the start of the season.

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