Rockets News

Houston Rockets: Which veterans deserve to stick around?

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 19: John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets huddles with the team against the Houston Rockets prior to the game at American Airlines Arena on April 19, 2021 in Miami, Florida. 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 Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 19: John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets huddles with the team against the Houston Rockets prior to the game at American Airlines Arena on April 19, 2021 in Miami, Florida. 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 Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets
John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Houston Rockets: Does John Wall deserve to stick around?

The Rockets’ largest financial commitment will remain John Wall for the foreseeable future. Owed $44.3 million next season with a $47.3 million player option for 2022-23, Wall is set to be one of the league’s highest-paid players the next two seasons.

From a pure production standpoint, Wall is just an average NBA player at this stage of his career and that’s when he is healthy enough to grace the court. Don’t let his 20.6 points per game fool you, Wall’s 2020-21 season was one of the worst of his career.

Wall set a career-low in assists per game at 6.9 and had his lowest true shooting percentage relative to league average in his career. The unfortunate reality is that the Rockets should be trying to move off of Wall as soon as possible, but because of his contract, their only avenue out is through a buy-out.

There remains a chance that Wall can bounce back next season with better health and aggressive load management but even that won’t be able to save his trade value. Wall will be the second-highest-paid player next year behind Stephen Curry and, even at his best, he wasn’t worth the contract that the Wizards gave him all the way back in 2017.

The Rockets are sitting on likely the worst contract in the NBA, which is always a conundrum. Everyone wants off of a bad contract but they’re immovable. Wall doesn’t deserve to stick around, but his money makes him immovable. Hopefully, he surprises everyone, but don’t bet on it.

The verdict: You can’t move the impossible

Next: Does Christian Wood deserve to stick around?

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