Houston Rockets’ Jalen Green Growing Frustrated With Team

Jalen Green, Rockets, NBA Rumors
Feb 29, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) dunks against the Phoenix Suns during the first half at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

At points throughout the 2023-24 NBA season, the Houston Rockets looked like they would factor into the playoff race in the Western Conference. They were over the .500 mark early in 2024, but have fallen on tough times in recent weeks.

They won their first two games in 2024 and that was the last time they have won consecutive games this season. They have gone 8-19 since that point, dropping their overall record to 25-34 and sinking into 12th place in the Western Conference. 

Currently 6.5 games behind the Golden State Warriors for the last spot in the NBA Play-In Tournament, the Rockets are likely going to miss the postseason for a fourth consecutive season. The 25 victories they have this season are a step in the right direction, as that is the most in a single season since 2019-20 when they had 44.

Wanting to be more competitive, the Rockets splurged in the offseason. They signed veterans Fred VanVleet, Dillon Brooks and Jeff Green to try and change the culture of the franchise. In some regard, it did work as the team has improved.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Jalen Green, Ime Udoka, Houston Rockets Updates

But, one player the Rockets have to be somewhat disappointed in is Jalen Green. The No. 2 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft has taken as many steps forward in Year 3 of his career as people would have hoped. Despite the upgrade in talent around him, Green continues to make some of the same kind of mistakes he did in his first two seasons in the NBA.

Still only 22 years old, there is time to turn things around. But, will the Rockets have the patience to see things through? Other young players, such as Alperen Sengun, have seemingly passed Green on the team’s pecking order and Amen Thompson is coming for his spot on the wing.

Ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline, there were rumors Green was involved in trade talks the Rockets had with the Brooklyn Nets. They were looking to acquire Mikal Bridges but were rebuffed by Brooklyn.

Could those talks signal a change in the franchise’s thinking when it comes to Green? The feeling could be mutual. According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, Green’s frustrations are growing with how his role is being handled by head coach Ime Udoka.

“Green’s frustrations this season have been clear. I was in the building last Friday for one of Houston’s more impressive home wins of the season over the Phoenix Suns. Green was glued to the bench for the entire fourth quarter. He didn’t look happy. This isn’t the first, second or third time that he’s not been on the floor in critical moments. It probably won’t be the last, either,” wrote Iko.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Jalen Green, Ime Udoka, Houston Rockets Updates

Green is a young player who is still adjusting to a new head coach and improved supporting cast around him. As Iko pointed out in the piece, there has been some progression from Green in terms of playmaking and decision-making. But he is still plagued at times by poor shot selection.

Some of that is certainly on the coaching staff and his teammates, who can do a better job of getting him in spots to succeed. But, it is also on Green, who has avenues to increase the impact he has on the court, which would lead to Udoka trusting him more late in games.

There is too much talent and upside for the Rockets to throw the towel in on Green. But, if he doesn’t show some of that development more consistently as his other young teammates have, he could be squeezed out. 

Eventually, the Rockets will have to decide which young guys to build around and which to move on from. An argument could be made for Green to be a part of each of those sides.

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