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Houston Rockets: 3 reasons the Rockets shouldn’t buyout John Wall

HOUSTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 26: John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets reacts during the second quarter of a game against the Washington Wizards at Toyota Center on January 26, 2021 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 26: John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets reacts during the second quarter of a game against the Washington Wizards at Toyota Center on January 26, 2021 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
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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)

Reason #3 the Houston Rockets shouldn’t buyout John Wall: The salary floor

The NBA, not only has a salary cap but also has a salary floor. The NBA Players Association, in part, agreed to the terms of the salary cap because of how the salary floor forces teams to spend above a certain threshold each season on player salaries.

The salary cap floor is an effective mechanism to protect player salaries but it has become a double-edged sword for rebuilding teams. Teams that are bottoming out cannot just field a team full of rookie contracts and guys on the league minimum and agents know this.

There is a long history of players getting overpaid by bad teams simply because they have to spend enough to reach the salary floor. John Wall’s contract might be bad, but it’s a bad contract that will shield the Rockets from more bad contracts.

The Rockets, with John Wall in the fold, are projected to have $98.3 million in salary commitments for next season. His $44.3 million single-handedly gets the Rockets halfway to the salary floor.

Sure, the Rockets could buyout Wall and have his salaries count against their cap sheet the next two seasons but that just opens another roster spot that needs to be filled. John Wall might not deserve his contract but he deserves to be on an NBA roster and right now his bad contract shields the Rockets from more poor financial commitments.

Next: Reason #2

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