As the Houston Rockets embark on a rebuild, which started last season after they traded Russell Westbrook and James Harden, they are beginning to utilize the young players they've acquired lately.
Therefore, the 31-year-old veteran guard John Wall likely won't see the court in 2021-2022 unless he's playing for another franchise. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Rockets and Wall have come to a mutual agreement.
As Houston wants its young guards to pick up heavy minutes on game night, Wall wants to ensure he remains healthy after missing the entire season two years ago. While he was healthy for 40 of 72 games last year, the Rockets didn't intend to start rebuilding at the time. Now that Wall isn't playing with a contender, it only makes sense for the veteran guard to stay off the court until he's playing meaningful games.
Houston is completely on board with trading Wall at this point, but it's going to be difficult for the Rockets to move him. As he's set to earn over $90 million through the next two years, there won't be a lot of teams looking to wheel and deal with the Rockets. Instead, interested franchises will look for a buyout to happen.
Right now, a buyout isn't in the cards. Per Shams Charania, the Rockets would rather keep Wall around to act as a mentor to their young guards and wait for an interested team to make a deal they can't pass up. While nothing should be ruled out at this point, ESPN's Tim McMahon predicts the situation will eventually result in a buyout -- but not until the next offseason.
"My guess is that there ends up being a buyout next summer," McMahon said on The Lowe Post podcast with Zach Lowe. "The Rockets don’t want to entertain buyout discussions right now, and I don’t think John Wall wants to. If there’s going to be an agreement this year, he’s going to have to give back a lot of money to make that happen. My guess is it would be significantly more than what Blake Griffin gave back ($13.3 million) to get out of Detroit."
The Sixers could land Wall through trade as they have multiple players they could match salaries with. However, it's unlikely the 76ers get desperate enough to move the disgruntled guard Ben Simmons for the 31-year-old injury-prone guard. Like many contenders, the Sixers will wait for a buyout to happen. Unfortunately for interested teams, that doesn't seem to be happening anytime soon.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.