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Home » blog » basketball » NBA » Is a John Wall trade really a reality for the Rockets

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

The the news out of the NBA is that the Houston Rockets will be attempting a John Wall trade before the season starts. Let’s have a look at John Wall’s contract and his stats to find out the likelihood of a trade coming to fruition. Is a John Wall trade really a reality for the Rockets.

John Wall contract

Is a John Wall trade coming from the Houston Rockets?

John Wall contract is a very big deal in trading the 5-time NBA All-star, no pun intended. His salary is so massive for 2021-22 at $44,310,840 that it will be the second highest salary in the NBA this season. Only Steph Curry’s is larger.

Actually John Wall’s contract for 2021-22 is tied for second highest with James Harden. It’s not the final year on John Wall’s contract either, in 2022-23, he will have a salary of $47,366,760. Which is second once again in salary to only Curry’s.

All of this salary is fully guaranteed until the contract ends after the 2022-23 season. His contract has a player option after 2021-22 but I highly doubt he is going to execute this option and lose out on almost 48 million dollars. It’s a bad contract but not for him it isn’t.


When looking at John Wall’s stats, his best season was in 2016-17 when he averaged 23.1 points-per-game, 4.2 rebounds, 10.7 assists-per-game and 2.0 steals.

At that time, the 2010 1st overall pick, only had one injury plagued season back in 2013. The Wizards gave him this four-year Supermax extension that wouldn’t kick in until the 2019-20 NBA season.

John Wall contract is second highest in the NBA, since he started getting injured, it's been seen as a bad contract.

He only played 41 games in 2017-18, followed by 32 games in 2018-19. With the injuries taking there toll, the Rockets point guard didn’t play any games for the next 18 months.

In his first season with Houston he played 40 games before being shutdown by the Rockets. Since 2017, he’s only played in 113 of a possible 308 games. That’s 37% of his teams games.

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He’s had five left knee injuries and two right knee injuries. He’s had a heel injury and a ruptured achilles tendon that happened just walking around his own house. Add in a wrist injury and an infection and it’s a pattern.

He’s had five surgeries and was shutdown in 2020-21 because of another knee problem that needs to be scoped. It was reported back in March that Wall would need a sixth surgery on his knee.

Bird Right’s

When the Washington Wizards originally added the Supermax extension to John Wall’s contract it wasn’t a bad signing because the contract was a Bird Right’s contract.

Basically, after a player has played three seasons with a team, they are eligible for a Bird Right’s contract. The purpose of this is to try to keep the stars of the league from leaving their teams for bigger markets.

Steph Curry has the same deal with the Warriors. Golden state was able to offer Curry 50 Million dollars more than any other franchise could. This is what it’s designed to do and also why John Wall’s contract is so big.

A Bird Rights contract doesn’t count against the salary cap, but in a trade, Wall can’t be just added to a team for next to nothing. It does make the situation easier for teams to make a trade though.

NBA Trades

John Wall stats are still there scoring wise.

For teams at or above the salary cap, the players being traded for each other must come within 125% of each other in salary.

Any team over the salary cap threshold after the trade is completed can’t complete a John Wall trade either. For instance, the Clippers would have to trade Kawhi Leonard or Paul George to acquire Wall.

The Warriors couldn’t get him for Andrew Wiggins, it would have to be Klay Thompson.

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John Wall stats

John Wall’s stats have been good when he was on the floor. He hasn’t been on the floor though and it’s not like he just played a full season. He played no basketball for 18 months and then played 40 games before being shutdown for the season.

John Wall stats in 2020-21 read 20.6 ppg, 6.9 assists, and 1.1 steals. He was a good defender but with all these leg injuries and his prime coming to an end, can John Wall put up stats that make it worth pursuing the oft-injured NBA star?

He didn’t have a good shooting percentage either, shooting 40.4% from the field and 31.7% from 3-point range in 2021, both below the NBA average.

His assist-to-turnover ratio was abysmal too. He had a ratio of 1.95. That won’t do as the starting point guard of any contending team.

The definition of “Bad Contract”

John Wall at Kentucky

Will John Wall get traded by the Rockets? I don’t know, what I can say is that I thought his contract was virtually unmovable before it was moved from the Wizards to Rockets.

If this was the final season of his deal, I wouldn’t be surprised if a team took a chance on him. Maybe he will forego that final year that he has a player option for in 2022-23.

The Houston Rockets told him to see if he can find a team that is interested in a deal, maybe he would tell them he’ll wave the final year of his salary. They would have to take his word for it because they can’t make it legal in anyway.

Houston has also stated that they aren’t going to give up any draft picks in a John Wall trade. I don’t blame them and don’t think they intend to be very competitive in 2021-22. Why should they care if they have Wall or not. There going to be giving someone the money regardless.

I can’t imagine the Sixers would be interested in trading Ben Simmons for him. As a Sixers fan, personally I’d rather free up cap room to sign a free-agent in the next couple of seasons. Younger players and draft picks would be preferable. A Ben Simmons for John Wall trade won’t fit into the cap by itself anyway.

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