Marc Stein wrote on his Substack earlier today that John Wall, who will enter the final season of his four-year, $171 million contract on Friday, may finally negotiate a buyout with the Houston Rockets. And he said, “Interest in Wall from the Clippers and Heat ... has been mentioned for months.” (Stein previously reported this interest in January.)
There’s been ‘serious murmurs’ about John Wall successfully negotiating a buyout with the Rockets, per @TheSteinLine— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) June 26, 2022
“Interest in Wall from the Clippers and Heat, if he can finally make his way onto the open market, has been mentioned for months.”
(Via https://t.co/kaswDydy7M) pic.twitter.com/hMjsnt6vVf
Back then, I said that the Miami Heat didn’t need Wall. I even asked, “Do we even know if Wall is a better player than [Gabe] Vincent at this stage of their careers?” Miami made it to the Eastern Conference Finals with Vincent largely as the starting point guard, as Kyle Lowry suffered a hamstring injury in the first round. Wall has completely missed two of the last three NBA seasons.
The only thing that changes the equation for this season is what other moves Pat Riley plans to make this off-season. Does he include Lowry for salary-matching purposes in a blockbuster trade? Does he include Vincent as a sweetener in a trade? Does Victor Oladipo leave in free agency?
If Lowry and Vincent remain on the Heat to start next season, there’s no reason to bring Wall on board. If Miami trades one or both of them, then Wall becomes a low-risk, high-reward signing. If he doesn’t work out, the Heat could waive him. If he accepts his role and plays well, it’s a great signing.