Rockets trade rumors: Miami monitoring Christian Wood, Clippers interested in John Wall

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
Rockets trade rumors: Miami monitoring Christian Wood, Clippers interested in John Wall
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Houston Rockets reportedly aren’t compelled to move veterans who are under contract for multiple seasons by the NBA’s upcoming Feb. 10 trade deadline. However, potential suitors are still lurking.

According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, the Miami Heat have consistently shown interest in trading for big man Christian Wood, while the Los Angeles Clippers have registered interest in veteran guard John Wall.

In his latest story published Monday, Iko writes:

With two seasons remaining on his contract (and 2022-23 being a player option for more than $47 million), the pickings are slim. Houston has recently received calls from a handful of teams about potentially acquiring Wall, sources tell The Athletic, but due to the contract constraints, rival teams continue to simply monitor the situation. One such team that had expressed genuine interest earlier in the season was the LA Clippers, sources say, but there is some confusion from an outsider’s perspective on the Clippers’ objectives heading into the deadline.

(Wood) has been subject to interest around the league, and sources say Miami has been one of the more persistent teams in engaging with Houston on the versatile big man. But barring a blow-me-away offer, Wood should remain in Houston past the deadline. He’s averaging 17.5 points and a career-best 10.3 rebounds per game.

With Wall and the Clippers, the interest makes some sense, especially considering that Kawhi Leonard now appears to be a possibility to return this season. The five-time All-Star could give them a playoff boost.

The challenge is the math. To approach Wall’s lofty salary in a trade without touching Leonard or Paul George, the Clippers would likely need to include three salaries from a group including Eric Bledsoe, Marcus Morris Sr., Luke Kennard, Reggie Jackson, and Serge Ibaka. Would the Clippers (23-25) really give up three established rotation players for Wall, all in a season in which they are under .500 in late January?

While not impossible, it seems more likely that the Clippers’ interest in Wall could be in the event of a contract buyout, which remains unlikely.

At $13.7 million, Wood’s salary is far more manageable, and the Heat have most of their first-round draft assets after 2022 available to trade. However, because Miami is a perennial Eastern Conference contender and does not appear likely to decline at any point in the foreseeable future, one late first-round pick isn’t likely to be enough to convince general manager Rafael Stone to give up his 26-year-old big man.

Two might do the trick, but is Miami willing to go to that length? Considering the conditional 2023 pick they already owe to Oklahoma City, giving up two more future first-rounders would effectively block them from trading any other first-round draft assets (other than swap rights) for several years — since the Stepien rule prevents NBA teams from not owning a first-round pick in consecutive future seasons.

In short, while both scenarios of Wall to the Clippers and Wood to the Heat are mathematically possible, each feels like a longshot.

Related

Report: Rockets less likely to trade Eric Gordon, Christian Wood by deadline

Christian Wood leading Rockets to more wins with vocal presence, better efficiency

List

Trade deadline data: Houston Rockets player salaries for 2021-22, future seasons