Although Gerald Green wasn’t able to contribute this season due to a broken foot, here’s why we shouldn’t be surprised if the Houston Rockets choose to bring him back in the offseason.
The Houston Rockets have signed Gerald Green in each of the last three seasons, and he’s paid dividends, as he’s proven to be a perfect fit for the Rockets’ offensive system which emphasizes the 3-point shot. Green has provided a great spark off the bench, as he’s made at least 35 percent of his triples in each of his last two seasons in the Space City.
The Houston native has averaged 10.3 points per game over his last two seasons, and made 37.5 percent of his threes during the 2018 postseason, which was second on the Rockets, behind only P.J. Tucker. Green has shown a willingness to fire away from deep, which has made Rockets fans happy and angry at the same time.
Aside from constantly being prepared to let it fly from deep, one of the biggest reasons why Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has had his sights set on the 6-foot-7 sharpshooter is because he’s been fairly inexpensive. It’s been no secret that the Rockets have been strapped for cash, and the Rockets have been able to get Green on the veteran’s minimum in each of their last three contracts, which makes the decision to sign him a no-brainer.
The Rockets won’t necessarily have an abundance of funds this offseason, as their salary cap picture will look eerily similar to now, which they’re roughly five million below the luxury tax apron. Another challenge is the fact that the NBA salary cap could possibly be much less, as the NBA seeks to find ways to offset the financial blow of the inactivity caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
We also don’t know whether current Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni will return with the team, which could certainly be the deciding factor in whether the Rockets will seek to reunite with the sharpshooter. MDA has shown an affinity for Green, but we don’t necessarily know if his replacement will feel the same way (if there is a replacement).
The Rockets wanted Green heading into the season, and there’s been nothing that’s happened that would have/should have changed that. Granted, the Rockets haven’t missed him because of the resurgence of sharpshooter Ben McLemore, but we don’t know if McLemore will be back considering the strong year he had this season.
After all, the only reason McLemore was available was because he hadn’t quite put together a season like this one, so he was available for cheap. With McLemore coming off a season in which he’s made 39.5 percent of his treys, he’s certainly going to have value around the league, and the Rockets likely won’t have the ability to get into a bidding war for McLemore’s services.
As we previously explained, it’s possible that the COVID-19 situation could buy D’Antoni another year, as it’ll be much easier to run it back with a coach who is familiar with the current group. If that does end up being the case, don’t be surprised if/when the Houston Rockets re-unite with Green this offseason.
That could be a good thing, as Green revealed that he felt he’s been overlooked prior to the start of the season, and he was looking forward to proving it. But Green wouldn’t get to play a game for the Rockets, as he suffered a broken foot during the preseason, which ended his season prematurely.
If Green felt he’s been slept on before the injury, he’ll definitely be eager to prove he’s fully recovered and prove to remind the basketball world of his ability to shoot from long-range.