Houston Rockets: Trade #2 of John Wall to the LA Clippers
(Contract length - 2021-22 salary)
If the Rockets want to get off of Wall’s contract, they’re going to have to take back some serious money. The trio of Patrick Beverly, Luke Kennard, and Marcus Morris Sr. will make a combined $42.6 million in 2021-22.
Fortunately, it’s much easier to move a player making between $10 and $20 million a season than it is to move one making $42 million. The Rockets would likely look to reroute Beverly and Morris due to their age and appeal to contenders.
It’s unlikely the Rockets would get back much for either of them. However, it was two protected first-round picks that allowed the Rockets to select Alperen Sengun. Small assets can add up quickly. Kennard, however, is a different situation entirely.
Kennard is 25 and a career 41.3-percent 3-point shooter. His defense is atrocious and his health has been spotty, but there’s a chance that he more than lives up to his contract in Houston. The Rockets desperately need 3-point shooting and the Clippers were the best 3-point shooting team in the league. There’s a reason they can move on from Kennard, and there is a reason Houston would have an interest.
The appeal in this deal, for the Clippers, is they’re able to get off of two long-term contracts. The Kennard contract looks to have been a mistake from the get-go, and, while Marcus Morris is a good player, paying him $15 million a season is hard when you have two players, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, on max contracts.
Wall might carry a massive salary but swapping him for Kennard and Morris opens up close to $30 million in salary in the summer of 2023. That might be the last best chance for the Clippers to make a title push while Kawhi and George are still in their primes.