The Houston Rockets nailed the 2021 NBA Draft. They landed a franchise cornerstone in Jalen Green, got absolute steals in Alperun Sengun and Usman Garuba, and secured Josh Christopher to give Green a familiar face as he transitions to the NBA. The future is bright in Houston, but that doesn’t mean all of the franchise’s problems are solved.
The Rockets still owe their 2024 and 2026 first-round picks, top-four protected, to the Thunder and the Thunder can swap for the Rockets’ 2025 first-round pick if it falls outside of the top ten. However, the franchise’s most pressing concern is what to do with John Wall.
What will the Houston Rockets do with John Wall?
John Wall in 2021 isn’t a bad player. He just isn’t a player that any organization would pay $40 million a season for. His defense has deteriorated to average at best, his shooting has always been suspect, but he remains an effective shot-creator through his ability to penetrate and dish. The Rockets are on the hook for the final two years of his contract and while trading him would benefit both parties, the list of possible suitors remains slim due to his massive salary.
What if money were no object? What if the salary cap didn’t exist? What if John Wall was free to play for any team in the league? These are hypotheticals, but what if the Rockets could trade John Wall to the absolute best basketball fit.
Houston Rockets: Which teams can get the best out of John Wall
The teams that could use John Wall most are; good 3-point shooting teams to space the floor for his drives, strong defensive sides to make up for his decreased ability on that end, and need a primary facilitator. To determine which teams would make the best home for John Wall, three factors were considered: team 3-point shooting percentage without volume taken into account, team defensive rating, and the highest assist percentage on the current roster. Each team was assigned a score based upon how far from average they were in each category and the team with the highest combined score is the best basketball fit for Wall.
Essentially, a really good 3-point shooting team with a good defense, but without a great primary playmaker is the perfect spot for John Wall in 2021. Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley, Chris Paul, and DeMar DeRozan are not included because they are either likely free agents or are free agents. Kawhi Leonard was also excluded because he’s expected to miss most of the season recovering from an injury, and finally, John Wall wasn’t included because, in this exercise, he needs to find a new home.
The Rockets will have trouble finding Wall a new home because of his salary, but that doesn’t mean he can’t help a team on the court. These are the five best basketball fits for John Wall in 2021.