REPORT: John Wall’s impending exit prompts Rockets to make move on free agent guard
In a rather expected move, the Houston Rockets and John Wall agreed to go separate ways on Tuesday. This of course immediately begs the question: Who will replace Wall?
While the Rockets will surely weigh their options in the coming days, it appears they have already made a move on one available guard.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Rockets are expected to sign free agent Dante Exum. The 6’5″ guard has been dying for an opportunity in the NBA and he could find it with the rebuilding Rockets.
Free agent guard Dante Exum is nearing a deal to return to the Houston Rockets, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Exum played in only 24 games last season, but has returned to full health and averaged 9 points and 2.8 assists in Australia’s Bronze medal run in Tokyo Olympics.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 15, 2021
The 26-year-old Exum was once a highly touted prospect after the Utah Jazz selected him as the fifth overall pick in 2014. For perspective, he was drafted before Julius Randle, Zach LaVine, Clint Capela, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson, and of course, Nikola Jokic. But after a decent rookie year, where he played all 82 games, a rash of injuries struck Exum in the ensuing seasons, hampering his development.
Exum has only averaged 24 games in his last four seasons because of his health issues. Last season, he only suited up for six games with the Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging 3.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 19.3 minutes per outing.
Exum could get ample minutes with the Rockets, with veteran DJ Augustin only the team’s natural point guard. They have plenty of young guys who can also play PG though, including rookie Jalen Green, Avery Bradley, Kevin Porter Jr., and Jae’Sean Tate.
Wall’s one-season pitstop with the Rockets clearly didn’t work but it could be a blessing for Exum.