Do the Houston Rockets need Gerald Green to return this season?

When Houston Rockets forward Gerald Green first got injured, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that he would miss the entire season. But with Green making progress on a return, do the Rockets actually need Green this season?

The moment that Houston Rockets‘ sharpshooter Gerald Green suffered a broken foot, it seemed unlikely that we would see the Houston native again this season. But Green has had roughly three months to heal from his injury, which is why it’s not necessarily surprising that he’s eyeing a return for the playoffs, which was first reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

But does it make sense for Green to rush his return and play this year? For starters, the injury was so severe that it was instantly reported that he would likely miss the entire season, so with an injury of that magnitude it’s not necessarily the best decision to rush his return.

It’s understandable why Green would want to come back from a personal standpoint, as he’s signed to a one-year deal and he surely wants to be able to land another contract. This would obviously become more likely if he’s able to show he’s fully recovered from his foot injury, but how many minutes would he get upon returning?

The reality is Ben McLemore has played stellar this season, as he’s shooting 35 percent from deep, while also averaging 9.8 points per game, which is more points than Green averaged during the 2018-19 season and the same 3-point clip Green shot last season.

The Rockets won’t necessarily need Green this season, as they’ve gotten great play from key reserves such as Chris Clemons, Isaiah Hartenstein, the aforementioned McLemore and Austin Rivers, which is exactly what we predicted at the time of Green’s injury.

So while Green may want to get back on the court immediately so he can help the Rockets, the question has to be asked of whether he would actually be helping the Rockets.

It’s understandable that he may want to get back on the floor immediately, but it’s possible he could be doing more harm than good, and the Rockets don’t necessarily miss him either. It would be a different scenario if there was an option for Green to return before December 1st, which was when McLemore’s partial contract guarantees kicked in, as that would have helped reduce the Rockets’ tax bill.

But with that date having already been passed, the Rockets have essentially already paid McLemore his contract guarantees, and with the former Kansas product playing so well, how many minutes would Green get upon returning anyways?