2. Jalen Green
We often hear about third-year leaps in professional sports. Young prospects are expected to take time to adjust to the competition at the highest level, whether it's because they need to add muscle and bulk up or because they simply need to learn how to train like a professional and adjust to the lifestyle and expectations of a pro (i.e. diet, workout regime, sleeping patterns, etc.).
Jalen Green was expected to ascend into the best version of himself this season for reasons listed above. However, it hasn't quite gone that way in year three for the Fresno native.
Green was supposed to be the Rockets' closer, at least based on his pre-draft comparisons to Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine -both of whom have proven capable of putting their respective teams on their shoulders in the waning moments of the game.
Granted, Green hasn't been awful, nor is it the proper time to lose faith in his development. However, some of his struggles are a bit concerning for a player in their third season.
For example, Green, who is an elite athlete, struggles to drive to the basket, especially in traffic. His finishing ability isn't quite what one would've anticipated for a high flyer like him and he constantly loses the ball when he's trying to attack.
He only knows how to play at the same frenetic speed, which at times, is uncontrollable. He also loses his handle quite often when driving to the cup.
Granted, it hasn't been all bad, as he's played with improved energy on defense and his effort on the glass has been better than we've ever seen from him (career-best 4.6 rebounds in 2023-24), but his inconsistent scoring has negatively affected the play of others, as it's caused his teammates to occupy a higher load than they would've otherwise had, if Green was simply playing up to his full potential.