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Multiple teams interested in John Wall if buyout is reached

Andrew Buller-Russ

Five years ago, John Wall was coming off his fifth consecutive All-Star appearance at the age of 27. He appeared to have a bright future ahead of him, but no one could predict how his next four years would go.

Battling injuries, Wall played just 32 games in 2018, missed all of 2019, and made it back for 40 appearances in 2020.

Fully healthy again to begin the 2021 season, Wall sat out the entire year as the Houston Rockets couldn’t agree on Wall’s fit with the rebuilding roster. Wall wanted to resume his role as the star point guard in the starting lineup, but the Rockets weren’t thrilled with that idea, preferring to hand the ball to Jalen Green, the No. 2 pick from the 2021 NBA Draft.

While Wall was available for trade, teams weren’t interested in taking on his salary, with Wall earning $44.3 million last season.

Well, here we are in a similar boat again entering 2022, with Wall recently picking up his $47.3 million player option for the upcoming season. Chances are, the Rockets won’t suddenly want Wall to take the floor, and his salary has only since increased, though it is now at least expiring, providing the acquiring team with a massive amount of cap space next offseason.

Of course, there could be another reason why teams have had no interest in trading for Wall just yet. Now that he’s entering the final year of his deal, reaching a buyout with the Rockets may be easier to complete.

Wall has likely been hesitant to reach a buyout since players have to pay back some of the salary they’re set to earn. And for teams, they have the option to either have the salary impact their budget right away, or spread the amount out over several seasons.

If Wall’s contract is bought out, several teams are believed to have an immediate interest in signing the 31-year-old lead guard.

Related: Top 2022 NBA free agents: Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine poised to cash in this summer

Heat, Clippers, Lakers all linked to John Wall buyout

NBA: Houston Rockets at Miami Heat
Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

If Wall and the Rockets manage to agree to a contract buyout, he already has a few teams believed to have interest in adding the 6-foot-3 point guard, according to Marc Stein.

The Miami Heat have been linked to Wall in the past, and he could form a strong duo with Kyle Lowry as the team’s point guards. As is, they can’t afford to trade for Wall, but signing him as a free agent could be different, as the veteran is unlikely to receive top dollar after so much time away from the court.

Another possibility includes heading out to the other coast, in L.A. The Lakers have Russell Westbrook, but he’s clearly up for grabs, if they can find a taker for his contract. But if Wall became a free agent, they may be more willing to part with Westbrook, accepting nearly any offer that comes their way.

With Wall, they’d have a plug-and-play guard with star potential, just like what they were after with Westbrook.

And finally, the Los Angeles Clippers are another team believed to have interest in Wall via the buyout market. WIth the Clippers, Wall could join the superstar duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, as they look to return to the playoffs again next postseason.

While these three teams were all mentioned by Marc Stein, it’s not hard to envision other teams having interest in the former No. 1 overall pick, should he actually get bought out.

Related: NBA teams prepping for Kevin Durant to be available via trade soon