Zach Allen: Coty, it’s time to discuss adequate places for John Wall, which should be reasonable to him and the Houston Rockets. I clearly stated that the Los Angeles Clippers would be a great fit, but the Rockets’ front office does not want the Luke Kennard contract on their financial budget. But a better situation has come across the table, which is Ben Simmons. Simmons has five-years worth $146.6 million dollars left on his contract. Wall is owed up to $91 million for the next two seasons, and has a player option of $47 million dollars after this season. So if he went to the Philadelphia 76ers and did not like it, he could go to another team by opting out. Wall could also get a new constructed contract with the team he likes (Clippers).
It was already reported by Evan Dammarell that the Rockets’ organization is fond of Ben Simmons on the roster before training camp. In my opinion, Coty, he meshes with this Rockets’ young core and accelerates the rebuild. It won’t make the Rockets a championship team but a playoff team, which is in the right direction. Simmons will be surrounded by versatile shooters with decent shooting touch around the perimeter.
Coty, the biggest thing that worries me is the free throw and three-point shooting. Hopefully, John Lucas works with Simmons in those aspects. Even if he could take mid-range jump shots and build confidence in that aspect. He’ll be a great passer and hopefully share the ball control responsibilities too. It was reported on the Mismatch podcast that Rich Paul, who is Simmons’ agent, said that he wants to be the focal point of the team. He even gave an example of Giannis Antetokounmpu. But the Rockets don’t need that because they want Porter to explode and Jalen Green to expand his horizon. Hopefully, they can meet Simmons and Paul in the middle, as both sides can be happy with the results. Simmons is intelligent away from the ball and Silas would have a ton of gadget actions that would make him really useful. He could also be important as a screener in pick-and-roll and slips screens toward the basket. Simmons will be great as a point forward.
I would love to see Simmons put players in their spots so they can become better and faster. Finding lobs towards Christian Wood and running pick-and-roll with him, including Daniel Theis and Kenyon Martin Jr. Simmons could possibly help the Rockets finish top five in fast break points because of his uptempo play and court vision. He could also help Porter and Green understand the pick-and-roll game more if problems occur in that aspect. He will also be another defensive force alongside Jae’Sean Tate and Eric Gordon.
It was really funny to see Simmons’ on IG trolling with Wall during their workout in Los Angeles, as they both are part of the Klutch agency. You ever wonder if Wall is talking about the Rockets’ organization to Simmons so he knows what to expect, Coty? Are Paul, Simmons, and Wall communicating about a trade evolving around the two trading teams?
Coty M. Davis: The general public believes Wall would be a great fit for the Clippers, but after their offseason acquisition, I’m not sure if Los Angeles would be a great move anymore. The Clippers have added Eric Bledsoe in a trade with the Pelicans and re-signed Reggie Jackson, which means Los Angeles no longer needs to add Wall to their team. In my opinion, I believe the Denver Nuggets should consider trading for Wall. The Nuggets — especially considering that Jamal Murray is likely to miss half of the 2021-22 season due to his ACL injury — need a guard who can be their primary ball-handler and playmaker.
The Nuggets have been successful using Nikola Jokić as their main facilitator over the last few seasons. But for the Nuggets to take that next step and finally reach the Finals, Denver needs a true floor general who can take the load off Jokić. Plus, for Wall, he would be the team’s fifth scoring option while creating arguably one of the best and well-balanced starting lineups in the league with Jokić, Murray, Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon.
The only problem the Nuggets will face when adding Wall to their team is his contract. The Nuggets are entering the season with a negative $27 million cap space, and adding an aging Wall to their team is not worth entering the luxury tax. And this is the reason why I believe the Rockets will not be able to trade Wall.
I would not be surprised if Wall’s situation becomes similar to Kevin Love in Cleveland, where you have a former All-Star talent wasting the twilight of his career at the end of a rebuilding team’s bench.
I also think the New Orleans Pelicans could be a trade destination for Wall. But if winning is his top priority for wanting out of Houston, then I do not see him accepting a trade to the Big Easy.
The most significant talk surrounding Wall at the moment is the possibility of sending him to Philadelphia in exchange for Ben Simmons. If Wall was still in his prime, I could definitely see this trade happening. But at 31-years-old, I do not see the 76ers taking on Wall without the Rockets adding additional draft picks to the deal. Plus, Simmons’ play style does not fit Stephen Silas’ system.
Buckle up, Houston, for endless rumors and speculations. Wall could be a member of the Rockets for at least another year.