Before anyone starts to hate read this and claim I’m and idiot — spoiler alert: I don’t think year three is a make-or-break season for Jalen Green.
Yep, I know, I know, shocking, right?
You're probably wondering why you should read the rest of it. My response is: I can equip you with the tools to fight back when fans push this narrative.
For the sake of the article, I decided to do some research and found out that the average NBA career is just four and half years.
Yes, you read it right, it really does last just four and a half years. When you put it into context of the average rookie scale contracts, it makes a ton of sense.
The initial contract a rookie signs is a two-year team deal with a two-year option attached to the contract. When the rookie has one year left on their initial deal, depending how ownership feels about said player, they’re able to offer a max contract for five years under the designated rookie rule.
So far in Jalen Green’s short career in Houston, he’s averaged 20 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists 42/34/79 shooting splits, which isn’t great, but it isn’t bad either.
Keep in mind for a player who’s months away from starting his third season in the NBA, it’s pretty par for the course. Especially when you're the main target for the opposing team’s defense on a rebuilding team, efficiency will take a nose dive.
A player that is oddly similar to him in career progression is Pheonix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker, who was drafted in the lottery at pick 13 in 2015 NBA draft, and had the same allegations on him. Routinely, many NBA fans would question if he was truly a first option let alone a core building block to create a formidable team.
Fast forward to the present, Booker is a three-time All-Star and an All-NBA player who's been to a Conference Final and has competed for an NBA Title.
Devin and Jalen’s sophomore season stats are very similar, Jalen posted 22 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists on 42/34/79
While Devin put up 22.1 points, 3.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds on 42/36/83 in his second season.
Booker, for all of his talent, didn’t find success on the Suns until the front office took a swing on Chris Paul. Although, he did have tantalizing performances like scoring 70 points versus the Boston Celtics, he still was getting slights about his on court character.
The point of the matter is that it takes time. A franchise has to attempt to build around a player’s strengths and weaknesses in order for them to succeed.
The Houston Rockets have started to do that by initiating phase two in the rebuild, During the offseason. they’ve signed Fred VanVleet and Dillion Brooks, replaced Coach Stephen Silas with new Coach Ime Udoka and drafted a pass first point guard in Amen Thompson.
If there we’re any indication of a make-or-break season, it is the Rockets’ willingness to offer a designated rookie max contract in the fourth year of Jalen’s deal. That likely means the 2024-2025 season is the official make-or-break year.
So we’ll see what the future holds.
Is this a make-or-break year for Jalen Green in your mind?
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