John Wall Will Be Worked into Game Shape Ahead of Potential Return, per Rockets HC

Doric SamNovember 29, 2021

HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 24: John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets takes practice at Toyota Center on November 24, 2021 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
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The Houston Rockets are potentially taking a step toward John Wall's return to the court.

Houston Chronicle writer Jonathan Feigen reported Monday that Rockets head coach Stephen Silas said the team is working Wall back into game shape. Feigen noted that the process is expected to take "a couple weeks" while conversations between Wall and Houston continue.

Wall has yet to play this season while Houston is in the middle of a rebuild and focusing on its younger players. The Rockets have also been unable to find a trade partner for the five-time All-Star point guard because of the money remaining on his contract.

Wall is owed $91.7 million over the next two seasons. The 31-year-old signed a four-year contract extension worth $170 million with the Washington Wizards in 2017. He holds a player option worth $47.4 million for the 2022-23 season, which has factored into teams' reluctance to trade for him.

On Sunday, Wall denied a report that his return to Houston this season has been hindered by his desire to be the team's No. 1 option. NBA analyst Jordan Schultz reported that Wall "wants to have the green light, at all times," but Wall said that was "a lie."

Wall played 40 games for Houston last season after being acquired from Washington as part of a deal for Russell Westbrook. He averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists. Injuries have limited Wall to just 113 games over the last four years. He missed the entire 2019-20 season because of a torn Achilles.

If Wall does eventually return to the Rockets lineup, he will be tasked with helping develop a young core. Houston is 3-16 and no player on the team averages more than 20 points. Christian Wood leads the Rockets with 16.4 points and 11.3 rebounds per game and 2021 No. 2 overall pick Jalen Green averages 14.0 points on 38.2 percent shooting.