The Houston Rockets are embarking on a rebuild. They have been trading away the veterans that made them contenders during the Mike D’Antoni years at a rapid pace. Right now, Danuel House Jr. and Eric Gordon are the only players remaining on the roster from those NBA playoff teams.
The official white flag was waived when James Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster, four-team deal last season. Without their superstar, the Rockets were heading toward a teardown rebuild of the roster. P.J. Tucker was later traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, winning the elusive NBA Title that the Rockets were unable to get with Harden as their centerpiece.
The first move that signaled a rebuild could be on the way was trading Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards. In what could be viewed as some as a swap of massive contracts each team was looking to get out from under, the Rockets took on John Wall, along with a first-round pick.
Wall last played on December 26th, 2018 before undergoing season-ending surgery on his heel to fix a nagging Achilles injury. In an accident at his home in February of 2019, Wall ruptured his Achilles, pushing his return time back even more.
He missed the entire 2019-20 season but returned to the court for the 2020-21 season with the Rockets, more than two years between NBA games, on December 31st, 2020. He appeared in 40 games this season, averaging 20.6 points, 6.9 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.
That is solid production for someone who missed more than two years worth of their basketball career, but his price tag is still exorbitant. He has $92 million left on his deal, with the 2022-23 season being a player option.
Could the Rockets entertain buyout talks as some have suggested? Here are three reasons the Rockets should buy out Wall before the season.