There have been questions surrounding John Wall’s long-term future with the Houston Rockets beyond this season. A Rocket’s fan asked Kelly Iko of The Athletic on April 28th if the team would trade or buyout Wall this off-season.
Why the Houston Rockets should not trade John Wall
Iko responded that a trade was more likely because John Wall would be owed $90 million over the next two seasons, and that was too large of an amount to proceed with a buyout. But is a trade the most beneficial option for the team?
No, as they would have to attach draft picks to trade him due to his contract and injury history. Wall has missed 263 regular-season games due to several injuries. For example, on November 7th of 2017, he collided with a Mavericks player causing discomfort in his left knee.
Wall kept on playing for about two more weeks before having to take a PRP injection in hopes of alleviating the discomfort. He came back 17 days later after that injection, but it didn’t lessen the issue. Therefore, he had to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery in late January to clean up the debris in that area of the body. This knee issue caused him to miss 41 games that season.
Wall’s questionable health makes it a risk for a team to take him on and his contract without receiving an extra asset since they don’t know if he’s going to be fully healthy. Unfortunately, the Rockets are currently in a rebuild where the primary goal is to acquire as many draft picks as possible.
Accumulating draft picks gives them more chances to find a potential franchise cornerstone via trade or the draft. Draft picks have been the centerpiece of big trades in recent memory. For instance, the Milwaukee Bucks traded two first-round picks and two pick swaps to the New Orleans Pelicans to acquire guard Jrue Holiday this off-season.
Two months later, the Brooklyn Nets traded four future first-round picks to acquire the services of James Harden. Therefore, if Houston wants a quick rebuild, they need to maintain all their draft picks and accumulate more.