Point guard John Wall and the Houston Rockets finally began negotiations over the 31-year-old’s role with the team these last few days. After sitting out for nearly a quarter of the 2021-22 NBA season, the former All-Star expressed to team leadership that he wanted to get back out on the court.
Unfortunately, Wall and the Rockets still have different expectations as it pertains to the point guard’s role in the rotation.
Sources: Rockets five-time All-Star John Wall will continue to sit games after he told team officials his desire is to play, start games and compete to maintain role. Houston wants Wall to come off the bench.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 28, 2021
“>to NBA insider Shams Charania, Wall expressed his desire to return to the Rockets lineup as a starter in the coming days. Houston, which has committed to developing its young players this season, wants the 31-year-old point guard come off the bench, and not start, in order to play.
That’s kept the two sides at a standstill as of Sunday, without a clear path for Wall’s return in the works, per Charania.
“The outcome of the conversations is that Wall will continue to sit out games while remaining professional and being around and engaged with the team, sources said. Rockets officials informed Wall in their conversations on Sunday that they were not willing to guarantee him a starting role,” Charania wrote Sunday.
Wall and the Rockets finally re-engaged on conversations this week after the 31-year-old point guard publicly voiced his displeasure with not playing on social media on Tuesday. The former No. 1 overall pick hasn’t played at all this season after mutually agreeing with the organization to sit out while the team explored trade opportunities.
Wall’s massive contract, which is due to pay him $44 million this season and has a $47 million player option next year, proved to be an issue in potential trade talks, leaving Houston without a partner to make a deal. Given the size of his current contract, Wall also expressed hesitancy to get bought out by the Rockets.
All of that has left the point guard and the organization at a tense stalemate. The veteran has reportedly been a helpful presence in the locker room thus far, but now wants the opportunity to help himself by playing.
Time will tell if he and the Rockets can figure something out in the coming days or if he’ll continue to spend his time on the bench in Houston.