Houston Blasts Off Into Full Rebuild

When the Rockets traded Russell Westbrook to Washington for John Wall in December, it felt like a fair swap — except the Rockets attached a first-round pick to take Westbrook’s $41.3 million off the books.

Now, they find themselves in a familiar situation.

Per ESPN, Wall and the Rockets have a mutual agreement to trade the five-time All-Star. The 31-year-old had a bounce-back season after rupturing his Achilles in February 2019, averaging 20.6 points and seven assists.

Wall is owed $91.7 million over the next two seasons, including a player option for $47.4 million in 2022-23. The Rockets reportedly have zero desire to add picks in a trade package or negotiate a buyout. 

This shouldn’t play out like the James Harden saga — Wall agreed to attend training camp. Still — yet another superstar wants out of Houston.

  • 2019: Traded Chris Paul and two first-round picks to the OKC Thunder for Russell Westbrook.

  • 2020: Traded Westbrook and a first-rounder for Wall.

  • 2021: Traded Harden to Brooklyn in a four-team deal, received three first-rounders and four pick swaps.

Westbrook and Wall each lasted a year in Houston, while Chris Paul just made the Finals, and Westbrook and Harden joined superteams.

“We have to win this trade,” one Houston executive said. Yup.

It’s a fresh start for head coach Stephen Silas — who was juggling Harden and other headaches. Now, he can build on cornerstones Christian Wood, Kevin Porter Jr., and Jalen Green.

If the Rockets find a trade for Wall.