There’s now a decent chance that John Wall will be dealt from the Houston Rockets ahead of the February NBA trade deadline.
Wall just pulled a 180 recently, indicating that he’d like to return to the Rockets and play after having sat out the first six weeks of the season. However, the two sides could not come to an agreement on a role for him — leading to speculation about a potential trade.
Wall, 31, isn’t necessarily a positive trade asset for the rebuilding Rockets. He missed the entire 2019-20 season due to an Achilles injury and is set to count nearly $92 million against the cap over the next two years.
With that said, there’s a few trade partners that could make sense for Wall and the Rockets. Remember, he was still able to average 20.6 points and 6.9 assists a season ago for Houston. He very well could help a contending team get over the top.
Related: Updated NBA trade rumors
John Wall trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers
- Cavaliers get: John Wall, 2023 first-round pick
- Rockets get: Kevin Love, Cedi Osman
Even with 2020-21 leading scorer Collin Sexton sidelined for the season, Cleveland remains very much a bottom-end playoff contender in the Eastern Conference. Fellow guard Darius Garland continues to play well, as does rookie big man Evan Mobley and and fellow grinder Jarrett Allen. Adding Wall to the mix would fortify Cleveland’s starting five with Garland, Mobley, Allen and the recently-acquired Lauri Markkanen.
As for Houston, it moves off a 2023 first-round pick the team acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks while likely buying Love out. Adding Osman to the mix could very well lead to acquiring more assets in a separate trade. He has value as a bench option.
John Wall trade to the Dallas Mavericks
- Mavericks get: John Wall, 2023 first-round pick, 2024 second-round pick
- Rockets get: Tim Hardaway Jr., Dwight Powell, Reggie Bullock
Hardaway Jr., Powell and Bullock might seem to be too much for Dallas to pay in order to acquire the injury-plagued Wall. That’s until we realize the team also picks up two valuable draft picks — giving the Mavericks more flexibility to pull off another trade. In terms of an on-court fit, having a ball-dominant guard to team up with Luka Doncic should be in the cards. It would help round out Jason Kidd’s roster.
This specific deal would pretty much be Houston moving off draft picks in order to rid itself of Wall’s bloated contract. It could also probably net picks in return for Hardaway Jr., Powell and Bullock during the summer. Each has value.
John Wall trade to the Los Angeles Clippers
- Clippers get: John Wall, 2023 first-round pick, 2024 second-round pick
- Rockets get: Eric Bledsoe, Ivica Zubac, Luke Kennard
At 11-10 on the campaign, the Clippers are mid-tier playoff contenders. They are also hoping to get Kawhi Leonard (ACL) back in time for the postseason. Why not attempt to stay above water until Leonard returns? After all, Paul George is playing at an MVP level. In short, Wall would be an immediate upgrade over Bledsoe. Los Angeles also acquires draft pick capital that it’s missing following the trade for George a couple years back.
For Houston, it acquires three rotational players to help a young roster. Zubac and Kennard might have long-term futures in the organization while Bledsoe could be bought out or traded. It almost makes too much sense for general manager Rafael Stone and Co.
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Author: Vincent Frank