HomeBasketball TodayJalen Green's Rockets Role Woes: Frustrated with Lack of Consistency

Jalen Green’s Rockets Role Woes: Frustrated with Lack of Consistency

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When the Houston Rockets drafted Jalen Green second overall in 2021, they envisioned him being one of the faces of their franchise for many years to come. While this may still be the mindset many within the front office still have, Green has seen his role change drastically since the arrival of head coach Ime Udoka this past offseason, leading to some question marks about his immediate future in Houston.

In addition to seeing his minutes decline this season compared to the 2022-23 season, Green’s scoring production and overall time with the ball in his hands has dropped. Compared to last season, Green’s scoring is down roughly 20 percent. Green also recorded 26 games with at least 20 shot attempts last season. Through 58 games this year, the young shooting guard has had only 11 games with at least 20 shot attempts.

If anything has become clear about Green, it’s that he’s not happy in this new role.

Jalen Green frustrated with this season

Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) brings the ball up the court during the first quarter against the New York Knicks at Toyota Center.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets currently find themselves 25-33 this season, 5.5 games back of the play-in tournament. At this point, it is going to be extremely hard for this team to go on a late win streak and rally to have a shot at making the postseason. The focus of this organization is on continuing to grow, as well as finding ways to set themselves up for future success.

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However, what this means for Green’s role moving forward is unclear. The 22-year-old has always been an electric scorer since he entered the league, and he’s always been his team’s main scoring weapon. Now, that title is being held by Alperen Sengun and veteran Fred VanVleet, who signed a near $130 million contract with the team in the offseason.

It is no secret that Green is frustrated with the way he has been handled by the new coaching staff, especially since he is not always on the floor in the game’s biggest moments. This is something The Athletic’s Kelly Iko alluded to in a recent mailbox column, claiming the young guard hasn’t been happy.

“Green’s frustrations this season have been clear. I was in the building last Friday for one of Houston’s more impressive home wins of the season over the Phoenix Suns,” Iko wrote. “Green was glued to the bench for the entire fourth quarter. He didn’t look happy. This isn’t the first, second or third time that he’s not been on the floor in critical moments. It probably won’t be the last, either.”

As far as possibly moving Green to the bench, this doesn’t seem like a viable option for the Rockets. Green has started in all 58 games he’s played this season, and he has the talent to pop off and score 20-plus points on any given night. Heading into the final several weeks of the regular season, a bench role doesn’t appear to be an option, according to Iko.

In regards to Green’s future as a whole in Houston, this is going to become a key question many ask heading into the offseason. Green will have one more year left on his rookie contract and will be extension eligible. Whether or not Houston looks to extend him may very well depend on if they can add an impactful, All-Star-like talent to the trade market over the summer. Should this path present itself, the former second overall pick may wind up being the focal point of trade talks.

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About the Author

Brett Siegel joined ClutchPoints as a credentialed NBA insider and reporter in May 2023 after previously covering the NBA for Fastbreak on FanNation and NBA Analysis Network, as well as working with Louisville Basketball. From playing to coaching to covering the game as a media member, Brett has been involved with the game of basketball from many different perspectives. Breaking the news of various free agent signings, yearly NBA Draft news and other key stories around the league, Brett is always on the phone, getting the latest news and rumors around the NBA. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @BrettSiegelNBA.

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