AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn

John Wall Trade Rumors: 'Zero Traction' on Deal as Rockets PG Continues to Sit Out

Tim Daniels

The Houston Rockets have reportedly gained "zero traction" toward trading point guard John Wall, who's yet to play during the 2021-22 NBA season while awaiting a deal.

"To this point, I've been told there has been zero traction on a trade for John Wall, so he's just hanging out," Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated said (around the 16-minute mark) on The Crossover NBA Show.

Wall and the Rockets reached a mutual agreement in September for him to remain sidelined while the front office worked to find a potential trade, per ESPN's Tim MacMahon.

There was no bad blood between the sides about the decision as the team expressed "deep appreciation" for how the veteran guard handled himself and took on a leadership role amid a period of transition for the franchise.

"He's been a rock for us," a Rockets source told MacMahon. "He's been great since he got here."

Wall was acquired in December 2020 as part of a blockbuster deal that sent Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards. The following month, the Rockets dealt James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets as part of a large-scale rebuilding process.

The 2010 first overall pick played well for Houston during the second half of last season. He averaged 20.6 points, 6.9 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals across 40 appearances.

His contract is the biggest hurdle to overcome for a trade. He's in the third season of a four-year, $171.1 million deal, which includes a $44.3 million salary-cap hit this season and a player option for next season at $47.3 million that he's highly likely to exercise.

Trading Wall could require an extra team or two involved in the deal in order to make the financial side of things work out for the side acquiring the five-time All-Star.

The other question is where he would fit.

At 31, the University of Kentucky product isn't a long-term building block for teams looking forward to the future, and it would be difficult for most contenders to fit his cap number into their salary structure without impacting their luxury-tax outlook.

So it's not a major surprise the Rockets haven't found any takers at this stage. It's possible that could change closer to February's trade deadline as more teams make a final decision about whether to go all-in to chase a championship this season.

Wall proved during his short stint with Houston that he can still make an offensive impact, but the other factors in play could keep him sidelined for several more months, if not the entire campaign.

   

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