Why the Rockets recently decided against trading John Wall

John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

It’s safe to say that John Wall has outperformed the expectations that were placed on him this season, as questions lingered regarding his health and ability to return to the All-NBA version of himself. Prior to joining the Houston Rockets Wall had reportedly become frustrated with reports that the Washington Wizards were dangling his name in trade talks, despite reportedly telling him otherwise.

Wall joined the Rockets with the expectation of sharing the backcourt with James Harden, although it became clear almost immediately that Harden was disinterested in such a pairing, as he had his sights set on the Brooklyn Nets. Wall used the perceived rejection from Harden as a way to fuel himself and others, as he made sure to tell anyone and everyone exactly how he felt about Harden not wanting to be in Houston.

On the floor, Wall has posted career-highs in scoring, averaging 21 points on the third-best true shooting mark of his career (54.2 percent). Wall also leads all Rockets starters in 3-point field goals, and has made 34 percent of his triples, which is much better than the 30.2 percent he made when he last took the court in 2018-19.

Why the Houston Rockets reportedly decided against trading John Wall

It had been reported that there was league-wide interest in Wall, with the Miami Heat having reportedly had the most interest in the five-time All-Star. But although the Rockets may have initially been open to dealing him, the latest reports suggest that they may be against such a move at this juncture, as explained by Matt Moore of the Action Network.

“There was also talk that John Wall was available if you called with the right offer, but in recent weeks, there’s been a sense that the Rockets have been so impressed with Wall’s attitude and leadership in a tough situation that the price has become high enough to limit a deal.”

Part of the challenge with any deal involving Wall is his contract, as he’s slated to make $44.3 million in 2021-22 and $47.36 million in 2022-23, which includes a player option that he’s almost certain to exercise. As Moore points out, Wall has remained positive and optimistic, providing a leadership presence in the locker room, in spite of a dismal season.

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Wall’s stellar play this season gives reason to believe that he’ll be even better in 2021-22, as the first season back from such a lengthy absence like Wall had isn’t always as smooth as Wall’s has been. For that reason it should come as no surprise that the Houston Rockets’ front office has realized that Wall could be worth keeping around beyond this season.