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John Wall’s Rockets future, revealed

Rockets, John Wall

Houston Rockets general manager Rafael Stone indicated point guard John Wall will be a building block for the franchise during Tuesday’s press conference.

Stone addressed the future of the organization in the wake of a tumultuous 2020-21 season. The Rockets finished with the worst record in the NBA, but Stone suggested the team is not in a full-on rebuild and will retain veteran players. This includes Wall, whom Stone said should remain in Houston “for a while,” per Ben DuBose of USA TODAY.

If this seems like a surprise, it probably shouldn’t be.

Firstly, it would be difficult to get a lot of value back in a hypothetical trade for Wall. He is owed over $44 million seasons, with a $47.36 million option for the 2022-23 season.

There are very few teams that would likely be willing to take on that salary, particularly as it pertains to a guy with Wall’s injury history. Even if there was interest, the Rockets would have to take bad contracts in return and might not obtain ideal draft capital.

Additionally, it wasn’t as if Wall was bad in his Rockets debut. The five-time All-Star averaged 20.6 points, 6.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds per contest. His efficiency left something to be desired, as he shot just over 40 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from beyond the arc.

Still, it’s important to remember Wall was making his return from an Achilles injury that cost him over a season of his career. Those numbers aren’t horrible, in context. Plus, Wall offers a sense of leadership in the locker room.

The Rockets have some interesting young talent in Christian Wood, Kevin Porter Jr. and Kenyon Martin Jr. Stone and Co. will likely hope Wall can stay healthy and rediscover his All-NBA home as they look to build for the future.