Fans of John Wall hoped they would finally see their idol on the floor this season, but the contract dispute and role in the team bring uncertainty when he returns. So what should be done for him to play?
John Wall posts #FreeMe on Instagram
Wall posted a video on his Instagram page showing he is game-ready, contrary to reports that he’s not 100 percent. However, what caught the fancy of fans was his caption.
Born Ready, Been Ready‼️ #FreeMe #WallWay
Pogledajte ovu objavu na Instagramu.
If he’s indeed in shape and ready, why does he not play? The answer is his massive contract and role in the team. The Rockets want their young stars to have as much playing time to get experience, even if that means sacrificing winning. The front office has made up their mind that the focus this season will be the player development of Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. That's why they want Wall to come off the bench. However, that doesn't seem to be an option for the 31-year-old.
Meanwhile, another concern is his massive contract. John still has two years left on his contract worth $91 million. Other teams are not interested in taking that out of Houston’s hands. A buyout could be an option, but things have not been discussed between both sides. The front office wants to get assets in return, but no team would give up good anything significant for Wall, who has failed to return to his All-Star level of play due to the various injuries in recent years.
The Rockets allegedly are willing to sit Wall out for the remainder of his contract before a trade partner comes to light, making both the Wizards and Rockets losers in the Russell-Westbrook-John Wall swap that brought the 31-year-old to Houston. The fans hoped a Wall-James Harden combo could bring them back to glory days, but Harden opted out and forced his way out of the team, leaving Wall and the Rockets in a tough rebuilding mode.
Possible destinations for Wall
If a buyout is reached, there are plenty of teams that can use Wall now. He may not return to his old self, but he’s still a decent point guard. John needs to realize that coming off the bench at this stage of his career might be the best way to move forward. He could mentor young players, provide leadership in the locker room and preserve his health.
The Philadephia 76ers are playing well without Ben Simmons, but they need another playmaker like Wall who could take the pressure off their young guards. New Orleans is also a good destination. The team lost Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday, and Eric Bledsoe and has not been able to find a good replacement. Wall could be that guy - when healthy, he can provide stability and playoff experience to the young team.
Wall’s time is ticking. He needs to find ways to get out of Houston to prove he still has a lot left in his tank. The Rockets don’t need him but also don’t want to let him go for free. A divorce is waiting to happen, and it could get ugly.