Another day, another baffling snub for Rockets' Jalen Green
If you've followed Jalen Green's NBA career, you've likely noticed one commonality about the Houston Rockets rising star: he's been consistently slighted. Granted, sometimes it has come from elite trolls like Bill Simmons, who can't help but poke the bear that is the Rockets fanbase, to get engagement (and he isn't the only one who does that).
At times it seems Green is the barometer for what a young player will amount to. Such as *insert player* "will be who we thought Jalen Green was going to be". The sort of talk that comes from fans of the sport, and there's no way to police fandom, or how fans view the game.
The most frustrating jabs are the ones that come from people who cover the sport in depth. In other words, there's an expectation that they know what they're talking about. Or at least they should.
Sadly, this also continues to follow Green. Last month The Ringer left Green off their list of the top 125 players in the league. This week Green was omitted from The Athletic's All-23-and-Under Mock Draft (subscription required).
The logic behind the selections was that a player had to have been deemed to have "franchise-changing potential" (which is opinion-based), the player had to have been 23 years of age or younger as of May 1, 2023, and the player had to give a team the best chance of winning a championship in five years.
Another day, another snub for Rockets' Jalen Green
Unfortunately whenever there are omissions from such lists, the natural tendency is to see which players were selected instead. This is unfortunate because it forces us to downplay another selection, which oftentimes creates an apples-to-oranges comparison because of different playing styles and oftentimes even different positions altogether.
But in this case, we don't even have to do that, as Chet Holmgren and Cade Cunningham were both selected over Green, which is the more baffling, as these are two players who are unproven. Holmgren has yet to touch the floor altogether, so how can we even compare him to the elite talent under 23 right now?
What is that even based off of? And in the case of Cunningham, he essentially missed the entire season, so are we basing his projection strictly off of his rookie season? Did he reveal that much as a rookie?
His statline was 17 points, 6 assists, and 6 rebounds, which are solid numbers for a rookie. But is that far and away better than Green's 17/3/3?
And what about Green's sophomore season, which consisted of a 22/4/4 statline? Do we just throw that out?
The reasoning they gave behind omitting Green was below (kudos to them for providing an explanation because we don't always get that).
"His upside as a scorer is as high as anyone we drafted. I’m just not sure, right now, that he’ll be much more than that."
But their explanation for taking Evan Mobley fourth overall was that he's already an elite defender and has offensive upside that he will reach in the next year or two. How do we know that?
Or how about their explanation for Tyrese Maxey, which states that he's a bucket getter and a fierce competitor? Does that same description not apply to Jalen Green?
This is not to say that Mobley and Maxey aren't two of the top young players in the league, but it exposes the hypocrisy of how players are given favorability over others, like Green.
At this point, it would be better for the writers to just admit that they don't like Green. Then it would all make more sense.