Recap: On February 10th, 2020, Jeff Green signed a 10 day contract with the Houston Rockets. The fit was a good one from the start, and he signed up for the rest of the season on February 29th, shortly before play was halted.
When the league resumed play with the seeding games in the bubble, Jeff Green was, if anything, better than his short February audition. In his 18 games with the Rockets in the regular season, Jeff Green averaged 22 minutes, 12 points, 3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and .8 steals per game. His playoff numbers were about the same, with 5 rebounds, and around 11 points, but in 28 minutes per game.
Green was a crucial playoff player for the Rockets in that at 6’8”, he was the only Rocket likely to get minutes contending with bigger players. When Danuel House was ejected from the bubble, Green’s role broadened. That larger role stretched Green from a highly valuable game changer off the bench, to an indispensable and necessary player in the short series against the LA Lakers. Perhaps with House in the house, Green could have done more to contain the Laker bigs, but with only P.J. Tucker and Robert Covington acting as bigs along with Green, the job proved too much for him.
Jeff Green entered the league back in the 2007-08 season, and has been the subject of much praise, hope, skepticism, and disappointment. I was one of the skeptics. Jeff Green proved me wrong. He was made to play in a small ball context, where his broad range of skills, from shooting three-point shots (35% in Houston), passing, ball handling, driving the basket, and acting as the big in PNR with James Harden, can all come into play.
2021 Outlook: Jeff Green, barring a large philosophical shift in the Rockets’ approach, should re-sign with the Rockets. He’s finally found his “forever home” after playing for 9 teams in his long NBA career. At 34 years old, he’s likely not capable of giving the Rockets 30+ minutes a night (that’s Tucker’s job apparently) but in the low 20s (and stretched out on nights when he’s cooking his opponent) he has great value in Houston.
It seems likely to me that Green will come back to Houston, as his minutes, and more importantly, his role, increased significantly with the Rockets compared to his previous teams. His partnership with James Harden was solid. As a back up small ball big, Green adds value and depth.
It’s possible that another team would take a chance and sign Green to more money than the Rockets can offer (veteran’s minimum almost certainly) but my bet is on Green returning to Houston.
Will Jeff Green return to the Rockets?
This poll is closed
He will be Luka’s chariot driver on his ascension to basketball paradise.