According to ESPN reporter Tim MacMahon, the recently made decision by the Houston Rockets to not play veteran point guard John Wall in the 2021-22 season was based primarily on a desire to give promising third-year guard Kevin Porter Jr. more work at the position.
Just 21 years old, Porter averaged 16.6 points and 6.3 assists per game with the Rockets last season, and one of his final games was a historic 50-point, 11-assist showing versus an elite defender and opponent in the form of Jrue Holiday and eventual NBA champion Milwaukee.
Regarding the Wall decision and how it relates to Porter Jr. and the Rockets moving forward, here’s what MacMahon told veteran NBA scribe Zach Lowe on the latest episode of The Lowe Post podcast:
Really, it’s about that the Rockets don’t want John Wall getting in the way. People talk about Jalen Green, but it’s really Kevin Porter Jr.’s development.
They’ve decided that Kevin Porter Jr. is not only a point guard, but is their point guard of the future. So asking John Wall to come off the bench for a rebuilding team… for both sides, that didn’t make a whole lot of sense.
But they did not want him taking the ball out of Kevin Porter Jr.’s hands, and he doesn’t want to be in a rebuilding situation. The problem is, he’s due $91.7 million over the next couple years.
Based on that salary, MacMahon said he views a contract buyout in 2022 as the most likely resolution to the standoff between Wall and the Rockets. Be it by trade or buyout, the financial problems related to Wall’s massive deal should be much easier to overcome with only one year left on the contract (as opposed to the two that remain on it today).
The complete podcast with Lowe and MacMahon, which includes a rundown of hypothetical Wall trades, can be listened to below. The discussion regarding Wall and Houston is in the show’s initial segment.
Report: Rockets willing to wait on John Wall trade until 2022 offseason
Report: Rockets won’t include first-round draft pick to trade John Wall
Player salaries for the Houston Rockets in 2021-22, future seasons
Source: Yahoo Sports