Former All-Star point guard John Wall has told the Houston Rockets that he wishes to start playing for the team again soon, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Wall has not played this season while the team tries to facilitate a trade to a more competitive situation.
Thus far, however, given Wall’s massive contract and extensive injury history, there have been no takers. While teams would certainly be interested in Wall if the two sides agreed to a buyout and he became a free agent, no contending team is going to give up what’s necessary to acquire him in terms of assets and salary.
That’s left Wall languishing on the bench all season. And while the initial agreement made sense in the short term, it’s one thing to sit out for a month; it’s another to do so all season. Wall, understandably, doesn’t want to just waste a year, and per Wojnarowski, he recently had a discussion with GM Rafael Stone to discuss getting back on the court.
In order to do so, however, Wall and the Rockets will need to come to a compromise regarding his role and playing time. Wall is clearly the team’s best player, but the Rockets are in the early stages of a rebuild and have two promising young guards in Jalen Green, the No. 2 overall pick, and Kevin Porter Jr. The team’s main priority is playing and developing that duo, and Wall would have to accept taking a back seat.
Without Wall on the court this season, the Rockets have been a disaster. They recently ended a 15-game losing streak, and currently have the worst record in the league at 2-16. As a result, head coach Stephen Silas is reportedly on the hot seat, though he is projecting confidence about the situation.
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Getting Wall back in the mix, even in just a complementary role off the bench, would surely help stabilize things a bit in Houston. He isn’t going to singlehandedly get them back in the playoff mix at this stage of his career — the Rockets don’t even want that to happen, to be honest — but his skill and veteran presence will solve some of their biggest issues like turnovers and inefficient offense.