John Wall could make a surprise return to the Houston Rockets lineup in the near future.
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Wall has not played for the Rockets since last season when he averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists per game in 40 appearances. He was shut down late in the season to protect him from injury and maintain his trade value.
Wall and the Rockets had agreed that he would not play until a suitable trade could be found, but according to ESPN, the two parties have discussed Wall making a return very soon. Part of the Rockets’ dilemma in bringing Wall back was that he might take away playing time from their young future cornerstones in Kevin Porter Jr and rookie Jalen Green.
Although has not been playing, he has been practicing and working out with the team. Rockets’ head coach Stephen Silas said he’s a positive influence on the younger players.
“He’s been good for our group,” Silas said. “He’s been good as far as watching film with guys and pulling them aside when they come off the court … he is definitely a helpful presence.”
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Houston acquired Wall in the trade that sent Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards, in turn taking a gamble that Wall would get over the injuries that have plagued his career since the 2016-17 NBA season. Wall still has two years, $91 million owing to him, making it that much more difficult to find a trade partner.
After splitting their opening two games, the Rockets lost their next fifteen games in a row before finally breaking that streak with a win against the Bulls on Wednesday. They still own the worst record in the league at 2-16 heading into Saturday’s game against Charlotte.