NBA Rumors: Houston could make a win-now trade for a star this summer

Kevin Porter Jr. and guard Jalen Green, Houston Rockets Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Porter Jr. and guard Jalen Green, Houston Rockets Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Houston Rockets have a lot of work to do this summer to improve their roster after finishing with the second-worst record in the NBA, and their first move was to find a new coach. Houston hired a new coach in Ime Udoka, who led the Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals last season, though he was later suspended by the team for the entire 2022–23 season.

While hiring a coach with baggage is questionable, especially in Houston, where the culture doesn’t appear to be great, he should be a clear upgrade over the team’s previous coach. Speaking of upgrades, it appears that the Rockets are only getting started on improving their team, even if it means trading their best player.

Rumors of the Rockets being open to trading Green are surprising since he was the second pick in the NBA draft in 2020 and has mostly played well. Houston landing an established star in return seems unlikely to happen, but perhaps they are letting teams know that he is available.

Would Houston actually trade Jalen Green?

With reports that all-star Trae Young may also be available this summer, Houston could inquire about a deal with the Atlanta Hawks. Green himself even weighed in on the trade rumors before later deleting his post.

It’s not ideal for a player to hear about trade rumors, especially a player who could play a big role for the Rockets if he isn’t moved. After all, if Houston lands the number one overall pick, then they will suddenly have the best group of prospects in the NBA with Green, Jabari Smith, Alperin Sengun, and Victor Wembanyama.

They could even sign seven-time All-Star and former Rocket James Harden in free agency. Harden returning to Houston seems like a real prospect, and his relationship with Green seems to be a reason why he is even considering it. Moving Green ahead of free agency could potentially jeopardize that.

That is unless Houston believes that they can find a star to potentially pair with Harden and, perhaps, Wembanyama to try and win now next season. Harden left to form a super team, so it makes sense that he’d return if they could create one. Houston has already signaled that they plan to change their approach next season, and being more aggressive seems like it is part of the team’s plan.

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Ultimately, an aggressive offseason strategy is great for the Rockets, who have been a disaster the last couple of seasons. However, rumors of them being open to trading Green could backfire if they aren’t careful.