Former NBA All-Star John Wall is still hoping to return to the league, and the 33-year-old recently worked out with a team in Australia while pondering his future.
“I love the game,” he said. “I still get up every morning at 6 a.m., [I] work out. I’m still dedicated to getting back in. I think something will happen soon. For me, I still love the grind. I still love to get up and put the work in. You just saw me work out for an hour, hour-thirty. No matter what, I still love the game. If I still have the hunger and desire to be [in the NBA], I’ll continue to chase my dream to get back in. It’s just being patient, staying ready, and just letting God do his work, and being ready whenever your name is called.”
Wall played 34 games for the Los Angeles Clippers last season after sitting out the 2021-22 campaign. He also was unable to play during the 2019-20 season due to injury.
As a result, he has played in just 74 NBA games since the conclusion of the 2018-19 campaign and the end of his stint with the Washington Wizards. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft out of the University of Kentucky, Wall was a consistent scorer who averaged 19.0 points per game for the Wizards.
After being traded by the Clippers and subsequently being waived by the Houston Rockets last season, Wall was floated as an option for the Phoenix Suns — even if it was nothing more than speculation. But that was before the Suns added Bradley Beal this past offseason. The Minnesota Timberwolves also may have had interest in him in the past.
Interestingly, Wall was mildly impressive while working out with some Miami Heat players and other NBA veterans prior to this season. The Heat are currently without Tyler Herro and Caleb Martin because of injuries and lost Gabe Vincent as a free agent this past offseason, so there may be a possible need for his services there.
If a return to the NBA is not currently in the cards for Wall, he may consider playing in the NBL in Australia. He is part-owner of that league’s South East Melbourne Phoenix and was working out with their players recently.
A player who at one time was able to garner a four-year contract worth more than $170 million, Wall certainly would not cost a team anything close to that to add him as a free agent.
He has missed two of the past four NBA seasons – plus the start of this one – so it may be an uphill climb for him to make it back to the league. But perhaps at some point, there will be a team looking for a veteran presence who may be able to recapture some former glory.