Woj: John Wall Told Rockets He Would Like to Play Despite Team's Trade Attempts

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IINovember 27, 2021

Houston Rockets' John Wall shoots a 3-point basket during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers in an NBA basketball game Friday, April 23, 2021, in Houston. (Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo via AP)
Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo via AP

Houston Rockets point guard John Wall has not played this year as his team looks for a home to trade the five-time All-Star.

However, Wall has spoken with the team about returning to the active roster for the time being.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski broke that news Saturday on Twitter:

"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.
"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."

The 31-year-old Wall has averaged 19.1 points, 9.1 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game for his NBA career, which began in 2010 with the Washington Wizards.

Wall landed on the Houston Rockets as part of a deal that sent Russell Westbrook to the Wizards. The former Kentucky star averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists in 32.2 minutes over 40 games for the Rockets last year.

Houston is in the midst of a significant rebuild after the end of the James Harden era, with the team focused on young talent.

Of note, the Rockets added four first-round picks to the roster in July, including Jalen Green with the No. 2 overall pick.

There have naturally been some serious growing pains, with the team starting 2-16. It is in no position to compete for a playoff spot, and earning the NBA's worst record appears likely.

That makes Wall an odd fit, as he's likely better suited on a contending team with playoff or championship aspirations.

However, he's also got a $47.3 million player option he can use in 2022-23, and that could be a serious obstacle toward any potential trade. The 2023 free agent to be is due $44.3 million this year.

A trade hasn't happened yet, and it's possible the Rockets won't find a suitor any time soon. Therefore, Wall may as well play, although there is a fine line both sides have to walk.

Wojnarowski added more information on that.

"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," the ESPN writer tweeted.

For now, the Rockets are looking to build off the momentum of their stunning 118-113 win over the Chicago Bulls when they play the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday.