Latest Jalen Green rumor leaves Rockets fans in disbelief

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Houston Rockets v Washington Wizards / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Although there are a wide array of opinions regarding Jalen Green in the basketball world, one thing has been made clear about the Houston Rockets third-year guard: his growth.

Green averaged 17.3 points as a rookie and increased his scoring averages to 22.1 points as a sophomore, finishing 18th in the league in total points in 2022-23. This isn’t exactly surprising, as he was known as a scorer heading into the 2021 NBA Draft, drawing comparisons to Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, and Zach LaVine at the time (which he’s lived up to thus far).

Green’s efficiency has been meh (to put it politely) but he found it much easier to get to the free throw line in year two than he did as a rookie. In fact, Green’s free throw attempts per game nearly doubled year-over-year (3.5 FTAs in 2021-22 and 6.1 in 2022-23), as he finished 14th in free throw attempts last season.

Part of this is because Green put on more muscle and added strength, but also because Green was simply trying to dunk on players as a rookie and wasn’t getting as many foul calls. Green began using his athleticism to add to his lay-up package, which resulted in more fouls being called.

Green’s third year figures to be a big year for him, for several reasons. For starters, he’ll be eligible for a rookie-scale extension after the season, so if he makes any of the All-NBA teams, he’ll be eligible for a supermax extension, so he’s got all the incentive to ball out.

It'll also be a important year for Green because he’ll be playing for a new coach, as the Rockets parted ways with Stephen Silas and hired the defensive-minded Ime Udoka as his replacement.

Udoka has made it clear that no starting spots are guaranteed and any rotational minutes will have to be earned. In other words, there’s a new sheriff in town.

And according to Rockets insider Kelly Iko of The Athletic, Green could find himself coming off the Rockets’ second unit in 2023-24, depending on how things go during the Rockets’ upcoming training camp. Iko offered this response when asked about the possibility of Green coming off the bench, as opposed to Kevin Porter Jr., who many believe will be utilized as a Sixth Man.

Latest Jalen Green rumor leaves Rockets fans appalled

“When the practices and scrimmages that matter roll around, it’s no foregone conclusion that Green beats out Porter. Not even close. It all boils down to what Ime Udoka thinks gives the Rockets the best chance to start games. It could very well be Green at starting shooting guard. It could also very well be Porter.”

This conflicts with what we heard from Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, who theorized a starting lineup of Fred VanVleet, Green, Porter, Dillon Brooks, and Jock Landale.

To be fair to Iko, he also stated that he believes Porter will be Green’s backup, while emphasizing that he was merely stating his opinion regarding Green being the starter over Porter.

But truthfully, none of us know what will happen as it pertains to Udoka’s lineups and rotations. After all, it’s only July.

And even if this does end up being what Udoka decides to do, it could always change down the line. Again, it’s only July.

Let’s wait and see.