Rockets’ Jalen Green Generating Trade Buzz Around NBA

Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, Rockets, NBA Rumors
Feb 2, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) reacts after Toronto Raptors call a timeout in the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

After several seasons of being near the bottom of the NBA standings, the Houston Rockets made a concerted effort to upgrade their roster this offseason. Teeming with young, high-upside talent, they mode moves looking to speed up their development.

Ime Udoka was hired as head coach after an ugly situation with the Boston Celtics led to him being suspended and eventually replaced by Joe Mazzulla. In his one season as their head coach, they made the NBA Finals.

In free agency, the Rockets added some veteran talent to coexist with their youngsters. Fred VanVleet, Dillon Brooks and Jeff Green were all signed. They made their presence felt right away, but the team’s production on the court has fallen off.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Jalen Green, 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, Houston Rockets Updates

The Rockets more than held their own out of the gate, but have been struggling in the last few weeks. They are 8-11 in 2024 and desperately want to make the postseason. For that to happen, they could have to swing a deal before the NBA Trade Deadline.

Who could they look to move to make that happen? A surprising name that has popped up and generated some buzz around the league is Jalen Green. The No. 2 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, as shared by Zach Lowe of ESPN via Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report, is someone who has popped up as the team looks to chase down a playoff spot.

“The [Houston] Rockets have first-round picks galore and so many good young players that—if enough of them hit—there will be no viable way to pay all of them,” Zach Lowe wrote for ESPN. “They want to chase a playoff spot now. This is why Jalen Green’s name has generated some trade buzz, per league sources.” (H/T Bleacher Report)

Green has seen his production drop thus far this season with the infusion of the veteran talent. His efficiency on offense has not improved, so his scoring numbers have dropped as a result with fewer shot attempts.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Jalen Green, 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, Houston Rockets Updates

As Lowe pointed out, at some point the Rockets are going to have to start making decisions about their young players. Who are the guys they want to build around as the core going forward and who is expendable?

Based on his upside compared to current production, Green could fall into the latter. In Year 3 he has yet to take the kind of strides the team was hoping for and Alperen Sengun has assumed the mantle as the best young player on the team. 

If Green still has excellent value around he NBA, it could behoove the Rockets to make a deal with him as the centerpiece of a package. A change of scenery could be what is needed for him to get on track and start to realize some of his immense potential.

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