Rockets Trade Rumors: Latest on John Wall-Clippers; Christian Wood-Heat; Eric GordonJanuary 24, 2022
The Houston Rockets continue to explore the trade market for John Wall, but they don't appear as willing to move Eric Gordon or Christian Wood ahead of the Feb. 10 deadline.
Kelly Iko of The Athletic reported Monday that the Rockets continue to canvass the league in hopes of shedding Wall's contract and providing the five-time All-Star an opportunity to resume his career. Wall has not played this season after the Rockets reached an organizational decision to focus playing time on their young talent.
The Los Angeles Clippers are among the teams that have expressed interest in acquiring Wall, but it does not appear a deal is close to getting done. Teams are hesitant to take on Wall's $44.3 million salary for this season and $47.4 million player option for 2022-23, and they also lack the type of matching salaries necessary to make a deal work under the cap.
The Rockets are reportedly less open to deals for Gordon or Wood, both of whom have generated significant interest.
Gordon is in the midst of a stellar season, shooting a career-high 45.2 percent from three-point range and offering locker room leadership to the young Rockets team. While contenders would jump at the chance at adding Gordon's floor spacing to the mix, Houston management reportedly prefers to keep the veteran on the roster due to his presence behind the scenes.
Gordon is under contract for $19.6 million in 2022-23 and has a non-guaranteed salary of $20.9 million for 2023-24. Assuming he can continue his current level of play, Gordon's trade value will only rise—particularly if teams want to get out from under bad salary in 2023-24.
Wood's status with the Rockets seemed on shakier ground after the team suspended him and Kevin Porter Jr. earlier this month for their conduct in a Jan. 1 loss to the Denver Nuggets. Wood refused to enter the game in the second half after playing only eight minutes in the first half due to disciplinary issues.
The team has seemingly moved past the incident, with Wood starting the Rockets' last nine games.
Wall is the only veteran player on the roster whom the Rockets are eager to move, but his onerous salary makes it nearly impossible. It's far more likely that the two sides will come together for a buyout agreement after the trade deadline if Wall truly wants to force his way out of Houston.