Houston Rockets fans are well aware of Jalen Green’s talents. He has a preternatural ability to use his agility, balance, flexibility, and explosion to conjure open shots. As his handle and jump shot improve, it’s only a matter of time before he joins the elite 25-points-per-game club. His scoring potential is special, and NBA executives have taken notice.
NBA executives believe in Jalen Green
Hoopshype polled 15 NBA executives, asking them to rank their top-five players under 25 years old to build around, and Jalen Green tied with 2021 number one overall pick Cade Cunningham as the tenth-best young building block.
The poll, unsurprisingly, had Luka Doncic ranked first, followed by, in order; Jayson Tatum, Ja Morant, Evan Mobley, Anthony Edwards, Zion Williamson, Scottie Barnes, LaMelo Ball, Trae Young, Darius Garland, Jalen Green, Cade Cunningham, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Tyrese Haliburton.
The company Jalen Green is keeping should have Rockets fans excited. Being in the same class as some of the game’s best young stars is no easy feat, and he’s by far the youngest player. However, the speed at which he rose up these rankings is nothing short of spectacular.
Jalen Green's impressive turnaround
Hoopshype conducted a similar exercise in January of 2022, and Green wasn’t even ranked. General managers’ lack of faith should be viewed as a slight either, as his career got off to a rocky start.
In Green’s first 33 games, he averaged 14.2 points per game on 37.4% shooting. The flashes of greatness were always there, but when the results are that bad, you’re less of a building block and more of a wrecking ball.
However, Green turned it on as the season progressed. Over his final 34 games, he torched the league, averaging 20.3 points per game on 46.7% shooting. For most players, that would represent a career stretch. For Jalen Green, it was just him figuring out the league.
There remains a surprisingly large contingent in the NBA media who remain skeptical of Jalen Green, but there’s a reason they’re in the media and not in a front office. The people whose livelihood depends on player evaluation know what Rockets fans know. Jalen Green is the real deal. With a strong showing in 2022-23, there’s no telling how high he could rise.