Houston Rockets trade value rankings #1: Jalen Green
Jalen Green finished first in this exercise (3.05) because he’s the Rocket with the highest upside. I graded his current production as starter quality (2). I think on a more functional team, he’d have much better shooting efficiency. Scoring at the NBA level is incredibly difficult, and Green is asked to create baskets from nothing. Remember, he is averaging over 21 points per game before he has even turned 21.
For potential production, I graded Green as an All-NBA caliber player (4). Obviously, there’s a chance he exceeds that, but there’s a greater chance he falls short. Projecting a player to be one of the 20 best players in the league is incredibly high praise, and I think Green will get there. His athleticism is plus by NBA standards, and he is scoring over 20 points per game with still a tremendous amount of development left to go.
Unfortunately, I don’t see Green becoming an MVP-level player. He doesn’t project to be plus on defense or as a passer. In 2000, just being an elite scorer could win you an MVP, but players are so much better today than they were even a decade ago that even being a 30-point-per-game scorer isn’t enough to get in the MVP conversation.
Much like Jabari Smith Jr., Green’s contract straddles the line between good and excellent (4.5). He has two more team options at $9.8 and $12.4 million, which makes his deal both good value and highly tradable. If the Rockets want a superstar, Green will be the first name that comes up in conversations.
Overall, Green has been developing quite well in Houston. Scoring guards tend to struggle early in their careers with consistency, and Green is no exception. He has steadily grown more and more consistent at generating free throws, getting to his spots, and his two-man game with Alperen Sengun has flashed real potential.