15 players the Rockets landed past their prime

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2. John Wall

In many respects, John Wall was an anomaly. He was the rare case of a player being selected with the top overall pick in the draft and actually living up to the reputation of a superstar in the making. 

At his peak, Wall was a force. The dude was literally a freak of nature.

Wall was a two-way player at the point guard position, earning a spot on the All-Defensive team, which has become a thing of the past. Wall was a blur. He was simply impossible to stop from getting to the rim.

And he could make every pass and was one of the best table-setters in the league. Scratch that. Wall was one of the best point guards in the league, making five All-Star appearances and an All-NBA appearance.

The knock on Wall coming out of Kentucky was that he couldn't shoot, but he developed a respectable 3-point shot (35 percent or better in three of his All-Star seasons), which should be encouraging for newly-drafted Rockets point guard Amen Thompson. Wall finished top-three in assists in four consecutive seasons while also being a top-20 scorer in two of them.

I could go on but I think you get the point. By the time the Rockets acquired Wall in 2020, he had suffered an Achilles injury and a torn ACL, which will change your game.

Needless to say, the Rockets didn't get this version. His 3-point shot regressed to 31.7 percent and his assists were down to 6.9 per game, as Wall was focused more on scoring (18.4 shots per game, which was second-most in his career).

Wall was still able to get to the rim, he just couldn't finish as well. His assist-to-turnover ratio, which had been 4:1 at his peak, dropped to 2:1, which is awful for a point guard. The Rockets ended up paying Wall to sit out and eventually bought him out.