Could Rockets trade Jalen Green to get established star? It’s reportedly been discussed.

Houston Rockets v Washington Wizards
Houston Rockets v Washington Wizards

The best evidence that Houston is moving on to “phase two” and getting out of the rebuilding game was hiring Ime Udoka as coach — this team wants to be in the playoffs next season, not watching them from home.

That means roster changes. The talented but young Rockets finished with 22 wins this season, which is good for the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes but not so much for making the playoffs. While that group will grow, it isn’t fast enough for the wishes of Rockets ownership.

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The Rockets’ interest in James Harden is no secret and the feeling is mutual according to some league sources, although discussing Harden’s future before this postseason plays out is premature. The Rockets also are keeping an eye on the situations of Khris Middleton in Milwaukee (player option for next season) and Jaylen Brown in Boston (extension eligible, and he wants the max), reports Jake Fischer at Yahoo Sports.

Would the Rockets trade Jalen Green for a star? They have discussed it, Fischer said.

The Rockets, sources said, also addressed the idea of including second-year guard Jalen Green, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, as part of a package for acquiring established star talent.

Two quick thoughts here. First, teams discuss a lot of things internally, preparing for every scenario they can imagine to be as ready as possible for the wildly unpredictable world of NBA free agency. An internal discussion is next to meaningless unless they act on it.


Second, the Rockets should consider trading Green for the right star. Green averaged an inefficient 22.1 points per game last season, shooting 33.8% from 3-point range and a 53.8 true shooting percentage, well below the league average. While his game saw incremental improvement in his second season, at this point he is still a volume scorer. Another team trading an established star and looking for young, up-and-coming potential replacements could see the hyper-athletic Green as someone with the upside to become an All-Star as his game matures and efficiency improves. It’s still about development with him.

The odds are Green is back in Houston next season, although his role could change depending on what stars are coming their way.

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