The 2023-24 Houston Rockets have gotten off to a surprising start. Not only are they 8-8, but they possess the league's seventh-best defense.
Last year they ranked 29th in defensive efficiency.
But although the Rockets have impressed early in the season, it's clear that they have several needs. For starters, the Rockets need a rim protector.
And the Rockets need a guard that can score and facilitate on the second unit, which would've been Kevin Porter Jr.'s role, were it not for Porter's off the court behavior. The challenge for Rockets GM Rafael Stone is finding enough value to send out to address those needs with good players, as the Rockets don't have much to shell out.
Based on the latest reports, Stone and the Rockets' brainpower are expected to shop Jock Landale (who has been downright awful), Victor Oladipo (who is likely not going to suit up for the franchise anyways), and Jeff Green.
Rockets GM Rafael Stone might want to re-think this.
That package *might* net the Rockets a bag of used pencils from the nearest elementary school.
But let's stop at that last name for a bit.
Coming into the season, the 2023 NBA champion wasn't quite expected to play a significant role for the franchise on the court. It was assumed that he'd be a voice in the locker room and essentially take on a Udonis Haslem type of role for the franchise.
However, Green has discovered the fountain of youth this season and has essentially been the Rockets' reserve center, which has allowed Rockets coach Ime Udoka to pull Landale from the lineup (9.2 minutes per contest).
Green has played arguably the best defense of his career, and is averaging 15.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per 36 minutes. Green is also shooting 55.7 percent from the field (career best), 33.3 percent from deep, 67.5 percent on two-pointers, 76.5 percent from the line, and an astronomical 66.5 percent true shooting.
Trading Green would easily be a mistake.