Report: John Wall exercising $47M player option with Rockets – NBC Sports


John Wall – who drew the second-highest salary in NBA history this season – wasn’t happy about sitting out all year with the Rockets.
But he’s not a fool.
Michael Scotto of HoopsHype:
John Wall is going to exercise his $47.4 million player option for next season, I’m told.
Due $47,366,760, Wall has the NBA’s second-highest salary for next season. A 31-year-old whose injuries knocked him from stardom, he won’t draw anywhere near that type of money again.
The rebuilding Rockets will probably attempt to trade Wall this offseason. His expiring contract could facilitate some deals. Like if the Lakers are willing to surrender picks to unload Russell Westbrook. But Wall’s enormous salary limits potential trade constructions.
If not dealt, perhaps Wall will try again to arrange playing for Houston. The NBA could step in (or not).
A buyout is also possible – especially after the trade deadline. Though the Rockets could let Wall free sooner, they’d at least keep their options open by rostering him until a trade is no longer allowed. Wall has already been linked to the Wizards, who originally signed him to this super-max contract. Fresh after his long layoff, Wall would probably have multiple suitors if bought out. He’d be far more appealing on a cheaper contract.
But before going there, Wall is securing every last dollar from his current deal.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Tyrese Maxey jumped on Joel Embiid‘s back and pounded the big man’s chest in celebration of the greatest game in the 76ers center’s career. The frivolity was fitting because Embiid carried the Sixers in the fourth quarter – all while he etched his name alongside the greats in NBA history.
Embiid scored a career-high 59 points and added 11 rebounds, eight assists and seven blocked shots in a historically dominant performance, powering Philadelphia to a 105-98 victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday night.
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 14, 2022

Embiid has clearly rounded back into form over the last week after recovering from an illness. The reigning NBA scoring champion dropped 42 points a night earlier in a win against Atlanta.
Embiid scored 26 of Philadelphia’s 27 points in the fourth quarter and he became the first player in NBA history with 50 points, 10 boards, five rebounds, five assists and five blocks in a game since blocks became an official stat in 1973-74.
“I’ve never seen a more dominating performance when you combine defense and offense,” coach Doc Rivers said.
There have been few like it in Philly, even for a franchise littered with basketball Hall of Famers. Embiid scored the fifth-most points in franchise history. Wilt Chamberlain, naturally, holds the top three spots with 68 in 1967, 65 in 1966 and 62 in 1966. Allen Iverson scored 60 in 2005.
With the Sixers up 101-98 and 1:19 left, Embiid blocked Collin Sexton‘s driving layup and then the All-Center came right down and hit a little jumper that sealed the victory.
Embiid shook off nagging injuries to post his breakthrough game of the season on the second night of a home back-to-back. He made 19 of 28 shots from the floor, 20 of 24 free throws and kept the Sixers from folding against the upstart Jazz.
His 101 points this weekend made him only the third player since 1988 to score 100-plus points on a back-to-back. He combined for 21 rebounds and 14 assists. And he’s done it all with James Harden still out with an injured foot.
Maxey chipped in 18 points for the Sixers but they had only 10 points from their other three starters. Embiid scored 13 points in the first quarter, 11 in the second and nine more in the third.
Maxey smiled as he repeatedly said, “Joel Embiid is very good at basketball” to questions about the center’s effort. Because really, what other superlatives were left?
“I think you can tell he’s hitting his groove,” Maxey said.
Embiid sank two free throws with 4:56 left in the fourth for a 96-94 lead and he matched his career high with 50 points. Embiid had twice before scored 50 points. The 7-footer hit two more free throws at the 4:17 mark for a 98-96 lead.
He had Sixers fans chanting “MVP! MVP! and one yelled “He’s gonna get 60!”
So close.
The Jazz gave him every opportunity with a string of fouls down the stretch and Embiid kept knocking ’em down from the line. He missed just his fourth free throw attempt late in the game that made it 101-98.
Malik Beasley scored 18 points. Sexton and Lauri Markkanen each scored 15 points for the Jazz, who lost a night earlier at Washington. The Jazz are 5-0 at home.
“It’s OK to be proud of how you’ve played to this point,” coach Will Hardy said. “We try to have our guys embrace that. It’s on us as a staff to continue to teach and remind them that there’s still a lot we can get better at.”
CLEVELAND (AP) — All-Star point guard Darius Garland scored an NBA season-high 51 points in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, 129-124, on Sunday night.
Garland scored 27 of his career-best point total – and made six of his career-best 10 3-pointers — in the fourth quarter for the Cavaliers, who trailed 99-75 late in the third.
D’Angelo Russell had season highs of 30 points and 12 assists and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 29 points to help the Timberwolves overcome Garland’s onslaught.
Garland’s 51 surpassed the previous season high set by Ja Morant, who had 49 points for Memphis against Houston on Oct. 21.
🔥 @dariusgarland22 went wild in the second half dropping 32 PTS to put up the first 50+ point game of the season!
51 PTS (career high), 6 AST, 10 3PM (career high)
— NBA (@NBA) November 14, 2022

The Cavaliers, who lost their fourth in a row, played without injured All-Stars Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen. Mitchell was sidelined with a sprained right ankle, while Allen sat out with a sore left ankle.
Garland made two free throws with 8.3 seconds left to pull Cleveland within 126-124, but Russell made it 127-124 from the foul line. Kevin Love threw away the subsequent inbounds pass and Taurean Prince made two free throws to lock up the win.
Russell made 11 of 13 shots, including 4 of 5 3-pointers, and Towns grabbed 13 rebounds for Minnesota, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Prince had 19 points off the bench and Rudy Gobert added 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Lamar Stevens had 15 points, Evan Mobley grabbed 13 rebounds and Love had 14 points for the Cavaliers. Cleveland lost at home for the first time in five games this season.
The Cavaliers had just 11 players in uniform, including two-way forwards Mamadi Diakite and Isaiah Mobley.
NEW YORK (AP) — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 37 points, Josh Giddey had a triple-double and the Oklahoma City Thunder shot a season-high 62.5% from the field in a 145-135 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday.
Giddey had 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for the Thunder, who picked up their fifth straight victory at Madison Square Garden. Giddey joined Wilt Chamberlain (1968) as the only other player in NBA history to record triple-doubles during their first two games at MSG.
“Any time your name is within the company of (Chamberlain), one of the all-time greats, is special,” Giddey said. “But basketball is a team game, so if those things contribute to winning and helping my guys around me be better, then it makes it worth it.”
Chills, Giddey 😨@OGandE Power Play of the Game
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) November 13, 2022

Lu Dort also had 24 points for Oklahoma City and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl added 17.
“We took the right shots; we made the right passes,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. “No one was pounding it. We just kind of moved it and let the ball find the right guy. Guys were all ready to attack. It was a good offense.”
Six Knicks scored in double figures, led by Cam Reddish, who had a season-high 26 points. Julius Randle had 25 and Immanuel Quickley chipped in 24.
RJ Barrett, the Knicks’ second-leading scorer, got into foul trouble and was held to a season-low four points on 2-of-10 shooting in 19 minutes. He did not play in the final 21-plus minutes.
“We just got behind by so much that we were just looking for life,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said of his decision to leave Barrett on the bench. “The group that was in there gave us a little bit of a spark, so that’s where we went with it.”
The Thunder surpassed their season average for points (113.4) by scoring 122 points through three quarters. Gilgeous-Alexander scored 21 in the third, and the Thunder used a 17-2 run to turn a three-point game into a rout.
“(Gilgeous-)Alexander, he’s a tough matchup. So is Giddey,” Thibodeau said. “You’re not guarding those guys individually, you’re guarding those guys with your team, so that’s where we fell short.”
The teams set a torrid pace from the outset, with New York putting up 48 first-quarter points, a season high for a single quarter. New York, which led by as many as 13, shot 64.5% from the field in the first quarter and went 4 of 7 from 3-point range, with 12 assists on its 20 field goals.
Oklahoma City set a season high by scoring 43 points in the second quarter, then duplicated it in the third. The Thunder made 74% of their shots in the second and turned a 12-point deficit into a six-point halftime lead. The Thunder, who outscored the Knicks by 18 in the second quarter, scored a season-high 79 first-half points and closed the frame with a 24-12 run.
“We obviously didn’t start the way we wanted,” Daigneault said. “I thought we did a great job of course-correcting in the second quarter and just settled back into our stuff and got control of the game going into the half.”
In the Thunder’s last visit to MSG, Giddey finished with 28 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds in a 127-123 overtime victory on Feb. 14.
“We only come (to MSG) once (per season), so we’ve got to make the most of it,” Giddey said.
Miami was banking on Omer Yurtseven to step up in his second season and play some key backup center minutes behind Bam Adebayo. Instead, a preseason ankle injury has kept him out of everything so far, with reports leaking out this week he could require surgery.
He does. Yurtseven is expected to undergo ankle surgery this week that will sideline him for about three months, reports Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.
The expectation is the recovery from the impending surgery will keep Yurtseven out for up to three months. Based on that timeline, he may be able to return by March. The injury keeping him out has been labeled by the Heat as a left ankle impingement. A source classified it as a bone-spur issue in his ankle.
It’s less than ideal for Yurtseven, who is in a contract year (he will be a restricted free agent next summer).
With Yurtseven out, Erik Spoelstra has turned to Dewayne Dedmon for more backup center minutes, but it’s not working (along with much of the Heat bench). When Adebayo is on the court this season, the Heat outscore opponents by 6.1 points per 100 possessions, but when he is off the court they are -11.4.
It’s a problem. One the Heat will have to correct without Yurtseven, at least for a few more months.


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