NBA Rumor: John Wall Buyout?

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Clippers, Heat strong potential suitors for John Wall in event of buyout

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.

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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.”

Teams interested in John Wall trade only if he declines player option

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.

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.

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.”

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.
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Jordan Clarkson calls for more accountability from referees following dangerous non-call on foul

Jordan Clarkson, meanwhile, was pointedly hoping to avoid the more substantial financial penalty assessed to players for similarly frank assessments, while still getting across his view that the crew of Brothers, Karl Lane, and part-timer Intae Hwang whiffed not only that particular play, but myriad others. His tone was measured, and he expressed appreciation for the difficult nature of the jobs that referees have to do — but he also conceded to being “super-upset” about the lack of a call, and was clear in his displeasure at a perceived double-standard which doesn’t allow for negative public assessment of officials who miss myriad calls.