The Toronto Raptors will be gearing up for their most pivotal offseason in years, as the potential loss of Kyle Lowry is looming over this franchise. They could choose to sign a cheaper veteran option if he leaves or simply move Fred VanVleet over and play for the best, but trying to reel ion a big fish like John Wall remains a very distinct possibility.
Wall finished up what could be his only season with the Houston Rockets, as the Washington Wizards legend and five-time All-Star was the big piece that went to Rafael Stone in the Russell Westbrook deal. In a season that was as nightmarish for Houston as it was for Toronto, Wall was one of the few standouts.
Despite coming off of a major Achilles injury that sidelined him for a year and a half, Wall put up 20.6 points and 6.9 assists per game. One of the fastest players in NBA history looked just as fast as he did pre-injury, but that might not be enough to keep him in Houston long-term.
John Hollinger of The Athletic (subscription required) hinted at the possibility that the Rockets could buy Wall out with their eyes on handing the keys to a young stud like Cade Cunningham. If a buyout is indeed coming, and Wall becomes a free agent, should the Raptors take a look at him?
Should the Toronto Raptors go after John Wall?
Let’s start with the negatives. Lowry is a much better shooter than Wall, who made just 40% of his shots in Houston. A career 32% 3-point shooter, Wall might not be the best fit for a run-n-gun offense like this.
Wall’s game is also reliant on speed. That’s all well and good in the short-term, but he is going to turn 31 next season and still has the question of his Achilles looming over him. One spot of bad luck and the Raptors will be rudderless again.
Now, the positives. Wall proved he can still fill it up at the pro level, and he should be counted on for an automatic 20 points per game in Nick Nurse’s offense. A former All-Defensive performer, he could help lock down on the defensive side of the ball as well, alleviating concerns about a defense drop-off.
Replacing a legend is never easy, but Wall shouldering Washington’s hopes on his slight shoulders for a decade and welcoming the pressure of a Harden-less Houston could help the Raptors return to contention. He might require Nurse to change up his offense a bit, but he’s proven to be skilled enough on offense to warrant that accommodation.
If the Raptors think that they need a superstar point guard to contend, Wall could be someone who replaces Lowry and takes over the starting spot.