It appears John Wall's stint in Houston is over.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Wall and the Rockets have "agreed on working together to find a new home for the five-time All-Star," with no plans for a buyout.
Sources: John Wall, Houston Rockets meet and mutually agree to work together on finding a new home for the five-time All-Star guard. Plan is for Wall to be present at training camp, but not play in Rockets games this season.- Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 14, 2021
After working his way back from an Achilles injury, Wall appeared in 40 games for the Rockets last season, averaging 20.6 points, 6.9 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals on 40 percent shooting from the field, 31.7 from the 3-point line and 74.9 at the free-throw line.
He is owed $91.7 million over the final two years of his contract, the second year of which is a player option worth $47.4 million. In 2021-22, Wall will be the second-highest paid player in the league, behind only Steph Curry, which makes finding a trade partner tricky for the Rockets.
With that in mind, which teams are in a position to pursue Wall?
According to SiriusXM's Mitch Lawrence, the Clippers are among the teams the Rockets have fielded offers from, a team Wall has been linked with over the past 12 months.
The Clippers have long been in search of a solution to their lack of playmaking with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard often tasked with running the offence.
After re-signing Reggie Jackson to a two-year, $22 million deal and acquiring Eric Bledsoe via trade, they have made moves to solidify their point guard stocks, but Wall is an instant upgrade, offering a dynamic playmaker who can still get downhill and create offence. Moreover, a move for Wall would see Jackson back to the bench and give their second unit some much-needed offence.
Wall's $44 million salary complicates things and any move would have to start with including Bledsoe's $18 million contract and Luke Kennard, who recently inked a four-year $64 million deal.
A straight up point guard swap could see the Rockets land three-time All-Star Ben Simmons.
The Aussie's name came up last season in the James Harden trade talks, but the Rockets could re-visit the option this time around and bring in the 25-year-old, who fits in with their rebuilding timeline, alongside Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood.
Simmons immediately lifts their defensive floor and is coming off a season where he finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting, but it would take some convincing for the 76ers to let go of their young star for a 31-year-old Wall, given his injury history.
Wall has played a combined 113 games over the past four seasons and while teaming up with Joel Embiid makes sense on paper, Embiid himself has battled injuries, appearing in 51 games in each of the past two regular seasons.
The 76ers are in win-now mode and Wall addresses their needs at point guard, whether they'd be willing to gamble on his health is another thing.
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans off-season didn't really move the needle in helping their chances of becoming a playoff team, seeing restricted free agent Lonzo Ball go the Chicago Bulls in a sign-and-trade for Tomas Satoransky and Garrett Temple and signing Devonte' Graham from the Charlotte Hornets in a separate deal.
A move for John Wall immediately gives them a starting calibre point guard to partner with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram and he showed last season he is still a dangerous player in transition.
The Pelicans would hope the addition Wall could have a Chris Paul x Phoenix Suns style impact on their two young stars, but finding the assets to make a deal work will be a stumbling block for the front office.
Dallas Mavericks - The Mavericks have been in the market for a point guard to help share the offensive burden with Luka Doncic and Wall would certainly do that. Last season he shot 38.1 percent on catch-and-shoot 3s and could co-exist off-ball alongside Doncic.
Oklahoma City Thunder - The Thunder are flush with draft picks and plenty of cap room and have had proven success with veteran point guards in recent seasons (Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder). The Thunder's assets could prove to be the most appealing to the rebuilding Rockets.
Denver Nuggets - With Jamal Murray to miss the first half of the season as he recovers from an ACL injury, the Nuggets are light at point guard between Facundo Campazzo, Monte Morris and Austin Rivers. Manoeuvring a deal for Wall as a stop-gap adds another dimension to their offence as they were 29th in the league in drives per game last season.
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