From 2013 to 2018, John Wall made five consecutive All-Star Games with the Washington Wizards and there were not many better guards in the entire NBA than him. Quite frankly, there were not many better overall players league-wide than Wall during this time simply given his quickness and ability to not only create for himself offensively, but his teammates as well.
During the 2018-19 season, John Wall saw his time on the court cut short due to undergoing a debridement and repair of a Haglund's deformity and a chronic Achilles tendon injury in his left heel. Everything seemed to spiral downhill after this surgery for the former All-Star point guard.
During his recovery from this procedure, Wall fell at home and suffered a ruptured left Achilles, which then led to multiple infections that were very worrisome and caused both John Wall and his doctors to ponder whether or not he would need his foot amputated.
Forced to sit out the entire 2019-20 season during his long road to recovery, John Wall was then traded to the Houston Rockets in December of 2020 for All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook. Since joining the Rockets, Wall has played in a total of 40 games and has once again sat out an entire season, as he and the organization decided at the beginning of this year that it would be best for him to remain sidelined indefinitely as they figured out a long-term plan for him.
To say John Wall has been through a lot is a complete understatement, as he has now missed two full seasons in the last three years and simply from a non-basketball perspective, this is a guy that was dealing with medical problems that could have drastically changed his daily life.
“What’s next for John Wall?” is a question that keeps being brought up time-and-time again this NBA season and heading into the offseason, there are still a lot of unknowns that we need answers to.
John Wall's Player Option For 2022-22 Season
In 40 games with the Rockets last season, Wall averaged 20.6 points, 6.9 assists, 1.1 steals and shot 40.4% from the floor, leading many to believe that he can still be an impact player in this league, but what is his value right now?
Entering the offseason, John Wall will have a decision to make on his contract, one that could drastically change his future in this league.
Having a $47.3 million player option for the 2022-23 season, many are anticipating the five-time All-Star to opt into his contract with Houston, but in doing so, he may be forced to sit out a vast majority of yet another season, even though he is finally healthy and ready to play right now.
Since Wall and the Rockets agreed that he would be shut down for the 2021-22 season as they worked on his future, John Wall has been working out privately and gearing up for yet another return.
With a massive player option for next season though, many teams in the league that do have the slightest bit of interest in Wall will be turning the other way, as almost no teams in the league have the ability to trade for a $47.3 million contract, even in the offseason!
Possibility Of A Trade Involving Wall
The Los Angeles Lakers are certainly a team that could trade for Wall, even with his insane one-year contract, but in doing so, they would be forced to trade Russell Westbrook to either Houston or a third team involved in said trade.
This proposal of “Wall-Westbrook 2.0” has been brought up on various occasions and according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, the two teams were heavily engaged in trade talks around this season’s trade deadline, but negotiations fell apart after the Lakers were unwilling to include their 2027 first-round draft pick in this deal.
Aside from the Lakers, the New York Knicks could possibly be in the market for a big name, former All-Star point guard like John Wall on an expiring contract and interestingly enough, the Washington Wizards could look to pursue their former first overall pick.
According to The Athletic’s David Aldridge, John Wall would be open to a reunion with the Wizards and bringing Wall back could make a lot of sense for Washington, especially since they will be searching for a new point guard in the offseason after trading away both Spencer Dinwiddie and Aaron Holiday at the trade deadline.
Financially, this trade would be extremely difficult for general manager Tommy Sheppard and the Wizards’ front-office to figure out though.
Not even factoring in Bradley Beal and his upcoming contract extension, the Wizards would have to do their best to try and match Wall’s $47.3 million contract in a trade, which would result in them likely having to part ways with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Rui Hachimura and other key assets, assuming they hold onto Kristaps Porzingis, who was just acquired from the Dallas Mavericks at the trade deadline.
Trade speculation will continue to be a key topic of discussion pertaining to John Wall in the offseason, but his only other chance to prove himself in this league outside of one to two scenarios listed above is to decline all of this money and become an unrestricted free agent.
This would result in Wall having to likely take a minimum-like contract for the 2022-23 season, almost a $45 million difference in potential salary, but this would allow him to sign with any team in the league, possibly a championship contender that is interested in him right now.
John Wall’s options at this point are very limited and with very few teams having the ability to trade for him, this upcoming offseason will be a very interesting time for a player who was once one of the best players in the entire NBA.
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