Houston Rockets guard John Wall officially opted in for the final year of his existing contract, and a resolution on his future is expected in the near future, according to NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic.
At $47.4 million, Wall opting in was widely expected for financial reasons, since it’s much richer than what he could get as a free agent. The five-time All-Star sat out last season; the young and rebuilding Rockets opted to prioritize minutes for Kevin Porter Jr. at point guard.
Previous reporting indicated Wall would ask for a contract buyout prior to the start of free agency on June 30, should a trade not materialize by the June 23 draft. With that date only two days away, the odds of a trade appear to be dwindling.
It makes sense for Wall to push for a buyout soon, since his list of potential suitors could dry up if some of them signed alternatives in free agency. Similarly, while the Rockets were resistant to buying out Wall last season, it makes sense for Houston to change course this offseason. Now that Wall only has one year left on his contract, if a mutually desirable trade still isn’t feasible, it may never be. By contrast, when Wall had two years left on his contract last season, it was logical to wait until he was viewed as an expiring deal to survey the landscape.
From Houston’s perspective, a contract buyout with Wall is likely preferable to a trade taking back longer-term salary commitments, since the Rockets are currently positioned to have significant salary cap room in 2023. That may be another variable pointing to a buyout.
Whatever the case, it shouldn’t take much longer to find out.