Grading Hornets trade deadline targets from no-brainer to brain-dead

Jalen Green of the Houston Rockets goes up for a dunk against the New Orleans Pelicans
Jalen Green of the Houston Rockets goes up for a dunk against the New Orleans Pelicans / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
7 of 9

Jalen Green - Guard, Houston Rockets (Semi-Brainless)

On the surface, this name might jump out and draw some “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd, but this is a stay-away as there’s a reason he might be available in the first place. The former #2 overall pick has shown an impressive ability to score, but not much else.

Green hasn’t been able to produce efficient offense for the Rockets and has struggled on the defensive end. A ball-dominant, one-way scoring guard who hasn’t shown any defensive chops or maturity, is the last thing the Hornets need right now.

He will also be due for a massive payday this offseason, and will surely expect it of any team that trades for him. I think Green likely profiles as more of a bench scorer than an actual star on a good team, and paying him and committing to him like one would be a mistake.

The Hornets already have two young offensive building blocks. Bringing in another one who would be a clunky fit and whose skill set wouldn’t complement or accentuate either one could be detrimental. Ball and Miller need a defensive-minded shooter in between them, which is not what Green is at all.

Again, the fact that the Rockets are already eager to move on from the 21-year-old they drafted second overall just three years ago rather than extend him should be as big a red flag as there could be and tell you everything you need to know. On top of having to commit to Green and pay him, the Rockets would almost certainly want some assets back in return. Forfeiting draft equity to acquire Green would just be the nail in the coffin for why this is a terrible idea.

Overall, Green is definitely a talented player, and some may see this as an opportunity for the Hornets to add another young star. But I’m happy to let another team take that risk and see if they can unlock another level of his game that involves focusing on more than just getting buckets.