NBA Rumors: Lakers Would Consider John Wall If Bought Out amid Heat, Clippers Links

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 26, 2022

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 13: John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets warms up before the game against the Atlanta Hawks on December 13, 2021 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

Though the Houston Rockets have been unable to trade John Wall, there could be significant interest around the NBA if the veteran point guard hits the open market.

According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat have interest in Wall if he becomes a free agent. The Los Angeles Lakers would also "consider Wall as a candidate for the roster if he is suddenly available via the buyout market."

Wall picked up his $47.4 million player option to remain with the Houston Rockets, but the two sides are reportedly "expected to work through a resolution on Wall's tenure," per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

This could include a buyout that frees him from the Rockets roster.

Wall did not play at all in 2021-22 as the Rockets decided to work toward a trade and protect the guard's health.

The five-time All-Star also missed all of 2019-20 because of a torn Achilles, which limited him the next season after his trade to Houston. Wall hasn't played more than 41 games in a single season since 2016-17, and he has appeared in just 72 games total over the last four seasons.

The 31-year-old has still been effective when on the court, averaging 20.6 points and 6.9 assists per game in 2020-21. Though it was his worst season as a passer, he has averaged 9.1 assists per game during his career, second-most among active players and the seventh-most in NBA history.

Wall's vision could allow him to thrive for a contender, even if he no longer has the same level of explosiveness.

The Clippers could use this type of facilitator alongside stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who are looking to enter 2022-23 at full strength. The Heat already have Kyle Lowry but could use another proven weapon as they try to win an NBA title.

It's a more interesting fit for the Lakers, which finished 33-49 last season while Anthony Davis and LeBron James dealt with injuries. They already have Russell Westbrook under contract and have been "hesitant" to trade the fellow point guard to Houston in a swap for Wall, per Stein, since the Rockets are looking for draft capital as well.

The lack of recent playing time makes it hard to predict whether Wall would even be an upgrade over Westbrook.

On the other hand, Los Angeles could struggle to fill the roster with Westbrook, James and Davis making about $130 million combined next season. Adding a veteran on a low salary after a buyout could be exactly what the team needs.