Sources – John Wall meets with Houston Rockets general manager and coach on return to roster
Houston Rockets goalie John Wall met with general manager Rafael Stone and coach Stephen Silas on Sunday to reiterate his desire to return to the lineup in a starring role – an idea squad officials continue to be reluctant to accept in a possible return to play, sources told ESPN.
The Rockets wanted Wall to accept a complementary role for his young players to play on this team, and the reluctance of the five-time All-Star goaltender to do so continues to be an obstacle for teams in a possible return to the game this season, sources said.
There is still room for the conversation and circumstances to change in this ongoing saga, and the parties will continue to speak as the season progresses. Wall wanted to be a starter again, but maybe a role similar to Derrick Rose’s on the New York Knicks that includes meaningful minutes off the bench could finally appeal to him.
The Rockets are building around second overall pick Jalen Green and third-year goaltender Kevin Porter Jr., but injuries could dictate greater opportunity for Wall at some point in the season.
These differences played a role in Wall and the Rockets’ decision during the preseason to keep him inactive to start the season – in the hopes that a possible trade could free him to play elsewhere, sources said. Wall’s huge contract – two years, $ 91 million – made a deal extremely difficult, and Wall approached Stone on Friday to revisit the idea of ââhaving him join the squad, sources said.
Wall, 31, has worked with the team and would likely have to step up his activity significantly over a period of more than two weeks to be ready to start playing. He played 40 games for the Rockets a year ago after arriving from Washington in a trade for Russell Westbrook. Wall has recovered from an injury to Achilles that cost him a season and more of his career in Washington, but has not shown he can still play at all-star level a season ago.
Many competing teams are interested in Wall as part of a backcourt rotation, but his $ 47 million player option for 2022-23 makes it nearly impossible to fit into a squad.
The Rockets (3-16) have won back-to-back games for the first time this season.