Jalen Green's third-year regression has easily been the most unpredictable storyline for the Houston Rockets heading into the 2023-24 season. Green followed up a 2022-23 campaign that saw him average 22.1 points with a summer of training with Team USA's Select Team and made a trip to the Rico Hines runs in southern California.
All told, Green trained with legitimate superstars, such as Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Anthony Edwards.
This was expected to catapult his play, as iron sharpens iron. The Rockets were banking on it, because their best chance of ascending into the top tier of contenders in the Western Conference hinged on the growth and development of their young guns.
Unfortunately, Green hasn't helped much in that regard, as he's had his worst season as a pro, especially on the offensive end, where he's looked like a shell of his earlier self.
This has prompted criticism on social media and trade speculation.
Sam Vecenie's trade proposal is illogical for the Rockets.
We've heard rumors of a potential deal being available with the New York Knicks for Quentin Grimes, which would be quite disappointing, due to who Jalen Green was projected to be in the 2021 NBA Draft (Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine, etc).
If that was bad, the latest trade proposal by Sam Vecenie of The Athletic was even worse, which is outlined below.
Trading Jalen Green for Alex Caruso is essentially the definition of giving up on Green. It also illustrates just how poor Green has played.
Not to say Caruso isn't a good player. He's great at what he does.
Hell, he's an elite role player who is an extremely switchable defender, which the Rockets could really use. In addition, he's shooting 42 percent from three on a respectable 4.3 attempts per contest, while also shooting 49.1 percent from the field and 63.8 percent true shooting.
He has championship experience and he knows his role. But he doesn't quite have the upside as Jalen Green.
In other words, we'll never question whether he can become a star. We know he'll be a permanent role player.
Which isn't a bad thing, contractually. Caruso is making just $9.4 million this season and $9.89 million next season.
And although that's a bargain deal, he'll never be a max player. He's a finished product.
Green, on the other hand, is still scratching the surface of his potential. Trading him at his lowest point would net a subpar return.
And if he goes to the Bulls and returns to form, the trade would look incredibly lop-sided in Chicago's favor.
But the Bulls wouldn't do this deal anyways, as they don't need another ball dominant guard alongside Zach LaVine, who they'll likely be stuck with. Not to mention the Bulls' reportedly high asking price for Caruso, which would likely not be met with Green alone.