2 Rockets players who could be difficult to trade in the summer

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets
Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets / Tim Warner/GettyImages

The Houston Rockets find themselves in pursuit of a legitimate superstar, as they've identified an inability to close games down the stretch. The NBA is a star-driven league. 

You almost never see a team win a championship without at least one. And you rarely see a team win a title without at least two, in the modern NBA. 

The Rockets' best chance of landing one is via trade in the summer. But they'd also be competing against other teams who are in search of the same thing.

In this regard, assets are even more imperative. If you can out together a better package than another team, the competition for a star becomes moot, because you can outbid another team.

The Rockets, however, could have their work cut out for them, based on the decreasing value of several players. 

2 Rockets with decreasing trade value

2. Jae'Sean Tate

It's known what Jae'Sean Tate does. He's a hard-working, tough-minded wing. He plays stellar defense and doesn't take any possessions off, which somewhat makes up for his inability to shoot.

He's also an excellent cutter. On this Rockets team, however, he isn't quite needed, as the team has depth at the wing spot, especially with a healthy Tari Eason. 

The Rockets had the opportunity to move Tate at the deadline but reportedly turned down two second-round picks from the Dallas Mavericks for Tate. First off, this was more than fair value and would've nearly recouped all of the assets that were shelled out for Steven Adams.

It's also worth noting that Tate hasn't played in either of the Rockets' last two games. And he's only played 12 minutes since the All-Star break, which came in the fourth quarter of the Rockets' blowout loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

In fact, Tate entered the game when the score was 101-79.

If this is an omen for the remainder of the season, then the Rockets will have actively tanked Tate's trade value in the offseason. In other words, they may not get two second-round picks for him again.

1. Jalen Green

Jalen Green entered the 2023-24 season with high expectations. This was supposed to be his year.

He had a very active offseason, which saw him train with the likes of Kevin Durant at the Rico Hines runs, and he was also invited to train with Team USA. He had just averaged 22.1 points and was entering his third season. In other words, he had the opportunity to take the proverbial third-year leap.

Green has regressed, although not by much, and his consistency has been a major issue. For every good game it seems he also has six bad games.

He's regularly pulled out of the closing lineups, in favor of other players who don't have nearly the upside that he has. In fact, he's even been subbed out for G-League level players.

For a player who was already ridiculed and scrutinized, like Green, his up-and-down play could make it difficult to deal him in the summer. Green needed a bounce-back this season in a major way.

His inability to put it all together consistently will almost guarantee that the Rockets will have to attach valuable draft picks to net anything of value in return. We've already seen this play out this season.

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