#FreeMe: John Wall And Rockets Butt Heads Over His Future

When the season began, it appeared that John Wall and the Houston Rockets were on the same page about his non-playing status while they investigated a trade for the former All-Star. But his $44M salary (and $47M next year) make a trade impossible, and the current unlikeliness of a buyout, has changed the relationship significantly. 

Wall has included the hashtag #FreeMe on his latest Instagram post.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Wall has demanded to return to play for the Rockets, in a starting role. But after a meeting with the team, they have insisted that any return for Wall would see him coming off the bench, something he is not presently inclined to do. 

The story goes that Wall and the Rockets agreed during the preseason that he would remain around the team, not as an active player, but would "preserve his health and fitness as the two sides work together on a trade."

Now that a trade seems exceedingly unlikely, Wall's competitive juices have apparently kicked up, according to the report, and he believes he belongs back on the court. But only as a starter. 

Wall played 40 games for the Rockets last season—his first action after sitting out close to two seasons with the Washington Wizards—and averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists. But Houston is now committed to Kevin Porter Jr. as their starting point guard, pairing him with rookie Jalen Green in a young, dynamic backcourt. 

For now, the slatemate continues, and the Rockets will have to keep on paying that $44M salary for a player who isn't playing. 

Photo Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports