Rockets guard John Wall reportedly open to Wizards reunion in 2022 offseason – Rockets Wire


When the 2022 NBA offseason arrives in a few weeks, the ongoing standoff between the Rockets and veteran point guard John Wall might finally approach resolution. Wall, a five-time All-Star, hasn’t played this season due to Houston prioritizing backcourt minutes and touches for younger players as part of its rebuilding plan.
This season, neither a trade nor contract buyout was particularly realistic, since Wall had two years left on his contract at nearly $92 million in total salary. But when Wall becomes an expiring contract in the offseason, it’s possible more suitors could emerge — and if not, the dollar figure could be low enough to where a buyout becomes feasible.
According to longtime NBA scribe David Aldridge, who is based out of Washington, Wall’s former team could have legitimate interest in a reunion under at least one of those scenarios. Aldridge writes:
Wall would welcome a return to the team that took him with the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft. It’s something he recently discussed with people close to him and around the league. “That … is true,” one NBA source said Tuesday.
I’m told (Bradley) Beal, though not overtly advocating a Wall return, wouldn’t dismiss a potential reunion out of hand.
Team president Tommy Sheppard said in February that the point guard position would “for sure” be Washington’s offseason focus.
The Wizards are, again, in the point guard market. John Wall is, again, looking for a gig. And, he’ll be entering the last year of his contract next season. So…would ya? In @TheAthletic:
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) March 9, 2022

Wall played the first decade of his distinguished NBA career with the Wizards before being traded to Houston in December 2020 (along with a protected first-round draft pick) for Russell Westbrook. At the time, Wall was viewed as a greater health risk after missing most of the previous two years with an Achilles injury and subsequent complications. However, after playing well and staying relatively healthy with the Rockets last season, those concerns appear to be mitigated in 2022.
While a reunion would be a fun storyline for Wall personally, the problem from Houston’s perspective with Washington as a Wall suitor is a trade doesn’t appear to be realistic for financial reasons.
If the Lakers are able to offload Westbrook to a team like the Knicks and don't take the deal for John Wall this summer then it's highly likely the Rockets will reach a buyout with Wall.
Going back to the Wizards seems like a good option for him in that scenario.
— Andrew Soukup (@asoukuptx) March 9, 2022

The Wizards would have to send out something close to Wall’s $47.4 million salary for 2022-23 to bring him in via trade. Assuming that Beal and Kristaps Porzingis are off the table, the only way a trade is even remotely feasible is if Washington started its proposal with both Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($14 million) and Kyle Kuzma ($13 million).
Given the rave reviews that Washington received for moving Westbrook to the Lakers for a package headlined by Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope, it’s hard to envision the same franchise going the complete opposite direction a year later for Wall — who will be the same age next season (32) that Westbrook was at the time of the original July 2021 swap.
To that end, Aldridge writes:
A Wall return would not involve a Washington-Houston trade. There’s no way the Wizards would move any assets to the Rockets for him. This would involve the Rockets finally buying out Wall after the season, followed by Wall signing as a free agent with Washington, likely for some or all of the midlevel exception.
Thus, while certainly possible, the Washington path isn’t an attractive one from a Houston perspective — since the financial math to make a trade work doesn’t seem to be there. It does appear realistic if a buyout comes to pass, but the Rockets will undoubtedly prioritize trade scenarios that would allow them to get at least some compensation.
Those scenarios may not pan out, of course. At that time, the buyout-to-Washington plan could gain steam. But at least to start the offseason, expect the Rockets to focus on scenarios of more benefit to them.
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