If the Rockets are unable to find a trade for John Wall before the June 23 NBA draft, all signs now point to Houston and Wall’s representation revisiting buyout talks prior to free agency in July. In that event, Wall would become an unrestricted free agent, and the Clippers, along with the Miami Heat, have been mentioned by league sources as strong potential landing spots for him.
Kelly Iko: Stone says he believes there’s a market for John Wall and a deal will materialize at some point. If not, he didn’t rule out the possibility of a buyout but says they’ll cross that bridge when they get to it.
Teams are expressing interest in Rockets guard John Wall should he become free on the market, sources say, but a trade or buyout remains unlikely. Wall has a whopping $91.7 million remaining on his contract through next season. He is currently not playing for the Rockets after the sides discussed in late November about him potentially playing.
And Wall’s remaining money is significantly more than Walker’s was. For a Wall buyout to make any sense for the Rockets, Wall would likely have to give up even more than Walker did to the Thunder — and there’s next to no chance Wall could make that up in his next deal. At any rate, that hasn’t been seriously discussed by either side as a possibility. “It’s hard for him at this point in time, when your salary doesn’t equal what your production is,” a sympathetic front office person from another team said Wednesday. “That’s hard for him. It’s hard for a lot of guys.”
Numerous contending teams have interest in Wall as a part of a backcourt rotation, but his player option of $47 million for 2022-2023 makes it nearly impossible to incorporate him into a team.
The outcome of the conversations is that Wall will continue to sit out games while remaining professional and being around and engaged with the team, sources said. Rockets officials informed Wall in their conversations on Sunday that they were not willing to guarantee him a starting role.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: John Wall met with Rockets GM Rafael Stone and coach Stephen Silas today to discuss a possible return to play and a role on the team. No agreement yet on how that would look. Wall has wanted a chance to be a starter again.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Houston Rockets guard John Wall has expressed his hopes to the organization that he can resume playing for the team in the near future, sources tell ESPN. Story soon.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Wall and Rockets had agreed on him sitting out until a trade could be found, but the five-time All-Star guard talked to Houston general manager Rafael Stone on Friday about restarting a dialogue on a return to the active roster, sources said. Sides plan to talk again on Sunday.
Adrian Wojnarowski: For Wall to play this season, there is likely a compromise that needs to be found between respecting Wall’s stature as an All-Star on a super-max contract and Rockets’ desire to have him play a complementary role to help develop their young core.
But why would Wall want this? He has to know: A trade isn’t coming. Teams are interested in Wall but only if he declines his $47 million player option for next season (he won’t) or wriggles free via buyout in this one (he isn’t). Wall looked remarkably good in returning from a two-year layoff last season. His All-Star days are over, but there’s no reason why Wall, at 31, can’t regain a place among the upper half of NBA playmakers.
John Wall: Facts ‼️ RT @Realmo1_: @JohnWall @SIChrisMannix You getting punished for something you can’t control...
Though the Heat would have interest in adding point guard John Wall if he’s bought out by Houston, ESPN said that’s not happening because Wall doesn’t want to give up his $47.4 million player option next season, let alone his $44.3 million salary this season.
Chris Mannix: I was texting with a bunch of different executives this morning talking about Wall. Like what do you think the interest is like? 'Nope, not we're not interested. I mean, the guy is an injury issue and we'd be interested after the buyout, but not under his current contract.' So he is probably going to sit out the entire season.
Charania and MacMahon both add that the Rockets don’t want to negotiate a buyout at this time, but that could change depending on how much Wall is willing to give up. Kemba Walker gave back $20 million in his buyout with Oklahoma City, but he immediately recouped almost all of it in his new deal with the New York Knicks. Wall would have to give back around $25 million for his buyout to be proportional to Walker’s, which may be the starting point for Houston in negotiations.
John Wall is due $91.7 million over the next two seasons, including a player option for $47.4 million in 2022-23, a contract that makes attempting to trade him extremely difficult. Sources said the Rockets do not want to give up first-round draft compensation in a Wall trade and would not have interest in discussing a buyout until possibly after free agency next summer.
Wall, a former No. 1 overall pick, is expected to participate in training camp and to be around the team while he remains on the Rockets' roster, sources said. Houston management is optimistic that Wall's wisdom and leadership can in particular benefit Porter and Green, who join center Christian Wood, 25, as the cornerstones of the Rockets' rebuild.
Sources said Wall's relationship with Rockets ownership and management remains strong, as Wall and the Rockets have been in frequent communication throughout the offseason. High-ranking Rockets sources expressed deep appreciation for Wall's leadership throughout a tumultuous campaign last season, when James Harden's trade demand pushed Houston into rebuilding mode and a rash of injuries factored into the Rockets finishing with the NBA's worst record. "He's been a rock for us," a Rockets source said. "He's been great since he got here."
Mark Berman: NBA sources confirm @Shams Charania report that the Rockets and John Wall are mutually working together to find a better fit for him. Sources say John Wall has not asked to be traded. According to sources the five-time All-Star simply isn’t part of the Rockets long-term plans.
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.
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.
August 9, 2022 | 6:25 pm EDT Update
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the meeting took place this past Saturday, and Kevin Durant indicated that he could stay with Brooklyn if general manager Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash were no longer there. Understandably, peers of Marks and Nash were not happy. “I get that players have more power these days, but I think it’s a little too far if he’s out here trying to get Steve fired,” said one coach, who was quickly reminded of Magic Johnson’s fingerprints on Paul Westhead’s firing back in November of 1981 and other power plays, some of which may well have been justified.
The head of basketball ops from another club was similarly displeased. “Livid,” he said. “Livid. He and Kyrie (Irving) basically told Sean they were coming (as free agents in 2019), and Sean did pretty much everything they wanted after that. Signing DeAndre Jordan for four years? That’s something Kyrie and KD wanted. Getting James Harden? Then getting a guy who should be a perfect complement to them (Ben Simmons) when Harden wanted out? Sean did all that.”
However, when asked if he would welcome Durant to his own club should he be attainable at a fair price, the exec paused and laughed. “Well … ” he said. “OK, you got me there. But, see, that’s the part of this that will always be hard for some people to grasp. I’m talking about the fans who just see the players as employees. These guys are not interchangeable parts. You can’t just plug in someone else to do what KD does.”
Marc Stein: Dallas plans to hire former NBA swingman Marko Milič — Slovenia’s first NBA player — to join the coaching staff in player development, league sources confirm. Milič obviously knows Luka Dončić well and played with Jason Kidd in Phoenix. More NBA from me: marcstein.Substack.com
Detroit Pistons center Kelly Olynyk is a married man! The basketball star, 31, wed his longtime love Jackie McNulty, 31, in a traditional, yet playful, outdoor ceremony at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez, California Saturday, as personal guests of the winery’s owners.