How the Rockets have uncovered a gem in Jeff Green

Houston Rockets Jeff Green (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Jeff Green (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

With the positive early returns on Jeff Green, here’s how the Houston Rockets have uncovered a diamond off the scrap heaps in the former Utah Jazz forward.

When it was announced that the Utah Jazz were releasing Jeff Green it seemed Green didn’t have anything left in the tank. Surely a playoff team wouldn’t waive a player who was able to contribute, right? The Jazz have been unable to make a deep playoff run of late, as they’ve seemingly been eliminated by the Houston Rockets every year. It would seem like Green is the type of player the Jazz would want to depend on to reverse that trend.

Even after Green was released, it seemed he didn’t have any value around the league as essentially every team passed on him. Every team besides the Rockets that is, as Rockets general manager Daryl Morey decided to kick the tires on Green and gave him a 10-day contract.

This made sense, as the need was there for the Rockets and Green presents tremendous value for the Rockets style of play, not to mention the low cost the Rockets paid for his services. The Rockets’ initial investment in Green was only $91, 557, which was certainly a price worth paying.

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It seemed there was something that had to be missing considering how Green was available on the scrap heap and any team could have picked him up. Was he injured? Were the Rockets taking an unnecessary risk by adding him to the team?

These were all valid questions considering how he fell in the Rockets’ lap, but Green has looked every bit worth the roster spot. In just four games, Green has played well enough that he’s already landed a standard contract through the rest of the season.

Jeff Green officially signing with the Rockets for rest of season, source tells ESPN. Both sides are really happy with the fit.

— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) February 25, 2020

Green has already averaged 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game, which equates to 18.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per 36 minutes. It’s clear that Green has already addressed the concerns of him not being in shape and he’s looked beyond capable of being the Rockets’ reserve big man.

We’ve seen Green thrive in the pick-and-roll as he’s looked good cutting to the basket and getting to the rim. He’s also shooting an insane 61.5 percent from long-range, which is where more than half of his shots have come from.

Green has had a player efficiency rating of 20.3, which is a career-best and is the third-best on the Rockets behind only James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Green’s true shooting percentage is 89.6 percent, which is simply unheard of. Keep in mind this has also been in limited minutes of action, as Green has only played 19 minutes per night.

Sure it’s been a fairly small sample size but Green has been a great addition to the Houston Rockets’ second-unit and has gotten more minutes in each of the last three games.

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The Rockets are averaging 144 points per 100 possessions with Green on the floor, which is the highest offensive rating on the team. Green is making the most of his opportunity and is proving the rest of the league wrong for not taking a flyer on him.