The highest-paid man in the NBA next season will be Stephen Curry. He is the player that is coming off leading the Golden State Warriors to their fourth championship in eight seasons. That would be the contract that would make the most sense in the league. The contract that may not make the most sense would be the second-highest-paid player in 2022-23. That player would be John Wall.
Before Wall’s contract buyout, he was expected to make $47 million next season. Instead, the two sides came to an agreement that Wall would give about $7 million back to the Rockets. He is now expected to sign with the Clippers. It will still be a lot of money for a player that has not played more than 70 games in a season since the 2016-17 season.
Here is the contract breakdown of Wall’s contract.
2022-23 Season: $40,866,760
There was a time when this was not a bad contract. Wall’s career numbers are 19.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 9.1 assists, 1.7 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game. The issue is that right around when he signed it, the injuries began to pill on, and he missed games. Wall played in 41 games in 2017-18. That was followed by 32 games in 2018-19, which was the same season he needed a repair of a Haglund’s deformity and a chronic Achilles tendon injury in his left heel.
That forced Wall to miss all of the 2019-20 season. He returned for one season for the Rockets but was limited to 40 games. Wall averaged 20.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game in those games. The Rockets knew this team would need a rebuild, so they opted for their younger players. In the last three seasons, Wall has played 40 games if you break it down.
Per Game: $498,375
The only player that will be making more per game is Curry. That means Wall will be making more than Nikola Jokic, LeBron James, and Jayson Tatum, just to name a few. The amount per game isn’t terrible if Wall plays, but we could see Wall go another season without suiting up. There are not many teams in the league that are going to take on this salary. The teams that did take on this salary are those that already have a player like this on their roster.
If you take the name off the jersey, 20.6 points and 6.9 assists at the point guard position is not a terrible output. When Wall was in his prime, he put up 17.6, 19.9, and 23.1 points and at least 10.0 assists per night from 2015-2017. The only way that it seems likely that Wall will be playing soon is if both sides can find an agreement on a buyout.
Per Quarter: $124,593
Wall will be making close to the veteran’s minimum in contract money after a handful of quarters. Talk about a slap to the face to some veterans like Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Paul Millsap, who will likely have to sign a veteran’s minimum contract and be expected to play 10 minutes a night. There is also the large number of contracts that the Lakers are going to hand out to players to fill out the rest of their roster. Meanwhile, Wall will be making their year’s salary without potentially playing.
One cannot be angry at Wall directly because this is a business. When the Wizards signed Wall to this four-year, $171 million contract, they had a player in their prime that was one of the best point guards in the league, paired with an undeniably talented shooter in Bradley Beal. They flipped that for one year of Russell Westbrook, while the Rockets could be on the hook for two years of his contract that will have paid him a combined $91 million.
Per Minute: $10,382
The money for Wall by the minute will be high. That is assuming that he will play, and that is for the entire 48 minutes. Wall will be cashing in even while sitting on the bench during some of these games since he will be a backup point guard to Reggie Jackson.
Wall has a high dollar-per-minute amount for someone that is going to be ranked second on the depth chart. If he moves up to the starter’s minutes, then it won’t feel like a complete sunk cost. At the end of the day, this favors Wall by a mile.
Per Second: $173
LeBron James will be making $188 per second this season. For a player that is coming off a sensational 37-year-old season, many could look past the age and look right at the stat line. Wall will be 32 years old this season and will make $11 less per second despite playing a fraction of the load James has put on his body. That is an unreal day for the former No. 1 overall pick.
A couple of hundred bucks add up after a while. In Wall’s case, it is going to add up to the second-largest contract in the league for this season. His agent Rich Paul with Klutch Sports Group, did their job well.
Wall’s estimated earnings up to this point are $229,137,948. After this contract sets in, he will own career earnings of about $270 million. Wall began his tenure in the league with his first four years, making about $22 million on his rookie deal. He then agreed to a five-year, $84.7 million contract extension. In the end, the Wizards will have paid Wall close to $146 million in 10 seasons, while the Rockets were on the hook for $83 million for two seasons.
Again, many will bash Wall for making this money and not playing. They may say that he does not deserve this type of cash. At the end of the day, players will make what the market value is. At the time, this was the type of money earned by a player that was one of the best in the league. Wall was a 20-point, 10-assist player when healthy. He was also expected to have been playing through the ages of 28 to 32, which was his prime. Injuries happen, and you can’t blame the person for signing the dotted line before catastrophe hits. Now, he will make the most of it as he helps the Clippers contend for a title.