The Houston Rockets finished the 2021-22 NBA season in the basement of the Western Conference with a 20-62 record.
Many NBA Draft experts saw Smith as the top prospect in the draft, so it was an excellent addition to a team that is clearly in a full rebuild that may take some time.
It appears that veteran point guard John Wall will not be part of that rebuild. Reports emerged on Monday that the Rockets and Wall are “gaining momentum” toward parting ways according to The Athletic’s Kelly Iko.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 27, 2022
This isn’t exactly unexpected considering Wall sat out the entirety of the 2021-22 season when it became clear that another team wasn’t going to take on his $44.3 million contract in a potential trade.
Wall has one year left on his massive deal, and he is set to bring in $47.3 million next season with his player option, which he announced last week that he would opt into.
Houston is in a spot where they need to develop young talent and playing Wall this season would take away from that development. If and when Wall’s contract is bought out by the Rockets, he will likely become a top option for a team in need of a proven point guard in free agency.
While Wall has shown he can be an excellent point guard over the years, there is plenty of uncertainty regarding just how much his skills have diminished over the years. He has only played in 40 games over the last three seasons and is entering his 11th season in the NBA. Despite this, many around the NBA world still believe that he can be a huge addition to a competing team this offseason.
— Dylan Hunter Carter (@DylanHCarter) June 27, 2022
— rashad🪐 (@TheDropstep_) June 27, 2022
How dare you to give me that kind of hope, Kelly? https://t.co/XOmlfWUyUi
— Vinnie Alves (@vinnubis) June 27, 2022
Wall last played in the 2020-21 NBA season, showing signs of his peak performance while averaging 20.6 points per game and 6.9 assists. If he can replicate that type of production next year, he will make whatever team signs him extremely happy.