- The Washington Times
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Washington Wizards moved on from Russell Westbrook this offseason. And now, the Houston Rockets are apparently eager to do the same with John Wall.

Less than a year after last season’s Westbrook-Wall swap, the Rockets are reportedly in talks to part ways with the five-time All-Star point guard — agreeing to find a trade for Wall. Houston agreed that Wall will participate in the team’s training camp that begins later this month, but the Rockets won’t have the 31-year-old play in games. 

Wall played in just 40 games for the Rockets — averaging 20.6 points and 6.9 assists in his first season back from tearing his Achilles in 2019. The Rockets, in the midst of a rebuild after trading James Harden, shut Wall down near the end of the season after he suffered a hamstring injury.

It is unclear if the Rockets will actually be able to trade Wall to another team. The former overall No. 1 pick is set to make $44 million in 2021-22 and holds a $47 million player option that he’s likely to opt in to for the following year. 

The Wizards were able to move Wall because it traded him essentially for the same contract in Westbrook. For that deal, the Wizards had to include a 2023 first-round pick. 

According to The Athletic, the Rockets and Wall have no plans to discuss a buyout — which would allow Wall to hit the market but require the point guard to voluntarily give back some of his salary. 

Before joining Houston, Wall spent 10 years with the Wizards, often as the face of the franchise. He was traded in an effort to build the team around Bradley Beal — pairing him with a former MVP in Westbrook.

The Wizards, though, chose to move on this offseason — trading him to the Los Angeles Lakers for multiple players. In Westbrook’s lone season with Washington, the Wizards made the playoffs as an eighth-seed (34-38) and Westbrook broke Oscar Robertson’s all-time triple-double record. 

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