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.
May 26, 2022 | 9:03 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN’s NBA Draft Analyst Mike Schmitz is finalizing a deal to become an assistant GM with the Portland Trail Blazers, sources tell ESPN. Schmitz will play a significant role with new GM Joe Cronin in leading the Blazers’ domestic and international scouting departments.
Schmitz is expected to remain with ESPN through the June 23 NBA Draft, and formally begin his duties with Portland in July. The Blazers have the seventh overall pick in 2022 Draft. Schmitz, 32, has been a draft analyst for ESPN since 2017, and worked previously for DraftExpress and as a video coordinator with the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA’s G League in 2012-2013.
In the aftermath of the elementary school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, the Miami Heat used a pre-game moment to urge fans to contact U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, both Florida Republicans, “demanding their support for common sense gun laws” — and telling them they can “make change at the ballot box.” Rubio, who is up for re-election this fall, didn’t like it. He took to Twitter on Thursday, lambasting the NBA for “politicizing a horrific tragedy in America.”
“The Heat urges you to contact your state senators by calling 202-224-3121 to leave a message demanding their support for common sense gun laws. You can also make change at the ballot box. Visit heat.com/vote to register and let your voice be heard this fall,” the statement said. Many fans could be heard cheering as the announcement was made.
May 26, 2022 | 8:27 pm EDT Update
Melissa Rohlin: Steve Kerr on the reaction he’s received to his comments on the mass shootings. “I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me, most asking what they can do… What I’m asking people to do is get involved in their local communities…call your senators.”
Callie Caplan: Steve Kerr has encouraged others to call their reps since his viral comment on Uvalde: “I have lots of friends who are Democrats and lots of friends who are Republicans. All I know is they all want gun violence to go away, so we just need to get our public servants to respond.”
Melissa Rohlin: Kidd was asked about his comment that the Warriors play zone because they can’t guard them one-on-one. He said it’s a compliment to his guys, not a shot at the Warriors. But he added that as a player, he knows if a coach makes adjustments, it’s because his team can’t do something