Why the Rockets must bring back Gerald Green

Gerald Green #14 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Gerald Green #14 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

With the Houston Rockets in need of additional shooters while also being on a limited budget, Gerald Green should be in store for a reunion with the franchise.

After being traded away in a four-team deal earlier this year, Houston native Gerald Green finds himself a free-agent and eyes a return to the Houston Rockets. The Rockets took a step back in terms of 3-point shooting, as they finished 24th in 3-point percentage during the 2019-20 season.

Adding shooters typically carries a hefty price tag, which makes a Green reunion even more likely, as he was last signed on the veteran’s minimum. According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic (subscription required), Green has been training in his hometown of Houston, in hopes of reaching a deal with Rockets GM Rafael Stone.

Green was sent to the Denver Nuggets as part of the Robert Covington deal earlier this year and was later bought out, which allowed him to rehab a foot injury that costed him the entire 2019-20 NBA season. Based on Iko’s latest reports, Green is ready to return to the court in Rockets’ red.

With a new coaching staff on the way and Stone at the helm of the front office, this may not be as easy without the familiarity of Mike D’Antoni and Daryl Morey for Green. But perhaps James Harden and P.J. Tucker, both of whom are Green’s former teammates, could sway the new decision-makers to secure him a roster spot for next season.

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Green has become somewhat of a hometown favorite for Houston Rockets’ fans, as they hated to see him go earlier this year. And if the I-45 tattoo does not display it enough, it is safe to say Green loves representing his hometown on the court.

Currently at 34-years-of-age, Green is most likely looking to ride off into the sunset in his hometown for a season or two. This would especially hold true if Austin Rivers departs from the franchise this offseason, as that would immensely boost the value of a journeyman sniper like Green.

Why the Houston Rockets must sign Gerald Green again

A potential contract would not harm the team’s salary cap and his veteran presence on the bench would especially be useful for the younger players in Houston, like Ben McLemore, Danuel House, and even Chris Clemons.

Not only does he provide a valuable veteran presence on the roster, but the last two seasons in which he played for the Rockets, Green contributed solid stats. In the 2017-18′ season, Green averaged 12.1 points per game in the Rockets’ campaign to a Western Conference Finals Game 7.

The next year he provided 9.2 points per game, while proving yet again to be a reliable shooter, as he was the only player in the league to make at least 100 threes while playing less than 1000 minutes during the 2018-19 season.

This is easily Green’s biggest draw, as he boasted a 3-point shooting percentage of 35.4 percent in his last playing season with Houston. Obviously coming off a year with no playing time while also coming back from injury is always difficult, so it shouldn’t be expected of Green to come back and pick up exactly where he left off.

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But with his insane athleticism and clear desire to come home, he may come back with something to prove. When factoring in Green’s value as a veteran and his shot-making statistics, it makes putting him in a Rockets uniform again a no brainer.