Houston Rockets: historical comparisons for Jalen Green #3
Floor: Jason Richardson
A potentially obvious note: if Jalen Green doesn’t surpass Jason Richardson’s career accomplishments, his career will be viewed as a disappointment.
A related, potentially less obvious note: Jason Richardson was an absolute bucket.
The points of comparison are obvious. Richardson was an aerial artist par excellence, capable of the same awe-inspiring dunks and circus layups that have made Green a YouTube fixture before his first NBA game. He came into the NBA with similar, albeit slightly lesser hype, resulting in a 5th overall selection in the 2001 NBA draft. He wasted little time winning dunk contests, and more significantly, scoring 23.2 points a night just five seasons into his NBA career.
With that said, Richardson's weaknesses, as much as his strengths, are what make him such an apt comparison for Green. Questions about Green’s potential as a playmaker arises in every one of his scouting reports. Richardson never surpassed 3.9 assists per game in a single season in his 13 season NBA career.
Green's defense has also been questioned throughout the draft process. Richardson posted a negative Defensive Box Plus/Minus (DBPM) in 10 of 13 seasons and none in his 20s.
To reiterate, this is a floor comparison. Green absolutely has the opportunity to develop his playmaking and defense to a point that he surpasses the impact Jason Richardson was able to make throughout his career. However, if he is unable to do so his career may resemble that of the high-flying, pure scorer, that Jason Richardson was.