John Wall and the Houston Rockets have agreed that his contract will be bought out, allowing him to sign with any team of his choice, two people with knowledge of the situation said Monday night.
Wall prefers to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to one person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, because the five-time All-Star defenseman has not publicly announced his intentions.
Wall will receive an estimated $41 million from Houston, according to another person who spoke to the AP. Wall was expected to earn $47.4 million the following season, his final four-year contract.
Sportzshala first reported that Wall and the Rockets had made a buyout decision. ESPN first reported that Wall intends to join the Clippers, presumably minus a mid-level taxpayer of about $6.4 million — about the same amount he returns to the Rockets to become a free agent. No agreement can be reached between Wall and any team until he clears the waivers and becomes a free agent.
Wall has been training in recent weeks, including a few classes at the University of Miami.
Wall played 40 games for Houston in 2020-21, averaging 20.6 points and 6.9 assists. He spent his first nine seasons in Washington and averaged 19.1 points and 9.1 assists in 613 regular season games during his career.
Wall did not appear in a single game for Houston last season. The Rockets are rebuilding around a young core, and Wall, who turns 32 in September, wasn’t in their plans for the future.
He was selected to play in the All-Star Game for five consecutive seasons from 2014 to 2018. Since the last of those picks 4 1/2 seasons ago, he’s played exactly 82 games, including the playoffs – the equivalent of one NBA season – while earning $150 million and seeing his career crumble due to injuries.
Wall has a long trauma and surgical history. He underwent surgery on both knees in 2016, the 2018-19 season ended prematurely due to surgery for bone spurs on his left heel, and then a left Achilles tendon rupture required another surgery in 2019 and a year-long recovery plan.
He has not appeared in an NBA game since April 23, 2021.
The development of Wall and the Rockets reaching a buyout deal came on the same day that another high-profile point guard, Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving, announced that he was exercising his $36.9 million option for the final year of his contract. with the Nets.
The NBA’s free agency officially opens with talks starting Thursday. In most cases, new contracts can be signed from 6 July.
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