Veteran point guard John Wall is hoping to return to action with the Rockets and has been putting in the work toward that end, coach Stephen Silas told reporters.
“Rafael (Stone, the Rockets general manager) and I did meet with John (on Sunday) and he had indicated that he wants to play and work towards that, so right now we’re in that phase as far as getting him back in game shape,” Silas said, via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “He’s been doing a lot of one-on-oh type stuff and one-on-one type stuff but nothing up and down, nothing four-on-four, five-on-five.
“Right now is the ramp-up time. That’ll probably take a couple weeks. We’ll continue our conversations and try to determine what it looks like.”
Wall, 31, has been sitting out since the start of the season as the Rockets seek a trade, focusing instead entirely on their rebuild. So far, though, there has been little outside interest. Most of that is because Wall is due to make $91.7 million this season and next.
But Wall clearly has no desire to get paid without playing. He has made it clear he’s itching to return to game action, despite the fact the Rockets are one of the league’s worst teams. While Wall isn’t saying as much, playing games may help boost his trade value as well.
Right now, it seems as if Wall would prefer to start. The Rockets, on the other hand, want to stick with their current youth movement of guards Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green, and bring Wall off the bench.
“That’s part of the discussions we’re going to be having,” Silas said. “Yesterday was discussion No. 1. That was very much centered around him getting to a place he can play in an NBA game. He’s in great shape.
“He is diligent as far as his work. He’s been positive and all that stuff. But as far as getting in game shape, our guys have had training camp and they’ve been practicing and they had games. He hasn’t had any of that. Right now, it’s about getting him to that point.”
Wall appeared in 40 games last season, his first with the Rockets, averaging 20.6 points and 6.9 assists, proving to be a leader and a true professional in a losing situation.