Houston Rockets point guard John Wall will be accepting his $47.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. In 2017, Wall accepted a contract extension from the Washington Wizards which was worth $171 million.
Wall injured his left heel in 2018-19 and was ruled out for that season. However, his injury got worse due to a surgical infection and then a ruptured Achilles after Wall took a stumble at home. He returned to the court in 2020-21 with the Houston Rockets, having been traded for Russell Westbrook.
Wall was benched for the entirety of the 2021-22 season as the Rockets wanted to give their younger players playing time instead of Wall. They couldn't find a suitable trade partner for him last season, but Shams has also reported that a resolution to Wall's frustration with not playing is expected to also come.
There was no logical reason for Wall to collect a nearly $50 million payday that he was entitled to on the basis of the contract he signed with the Wizards. He has played just 40 games since signing this contract. Wall will be a free agent after this season, but the Rockets could initiate a buyout of Wall's contract and let him sign a new contract somewhere else as a free agent.
Trading Wall will be a massive challenge as no team will be looking to accommodate that contract or match it with the players they have to offer. Rockets aren't incentivized by giving up a pick while they are trying to rebuild with picks and young players.
Wall could be a genuine contributor on a contending team. His injury issues have caused a decline in his performance, but we haven't seen what Wall can do for the last year despite being healthy. When he is motivated, he could be an incredible piece of a contending team's bench. Whether he gets to a contending team this season is unclear, but he will make $47.4 million either way.