As the No. 2 overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft, Green steps into the vacancy as Houston’s face of the franchise.
Following a difficult divorce from James Harden, the Rockets look to retool around the wildly talented prep star who opted to forego playing at the college level.
Green Comes With Unique Experience
Green ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the ESPN Top 100 for 2020.
The NBA and the G-League developed a pathway to keep top prospects who weren’t interested in playing at the college level from leaving the United State for lucrative deals in Australia or Europe.
This initiative paid these elite prospects to participate in a one-year developmental program which included exhibition games against other G-League teams.
Green became the first high-level prospect to join this initiative, and reaped the benefits.
The 6-foot-6 swingman proved to be an elite scorer at the prep level.
Green averaged over 30 points per game in both his junior and senior seasons.
As a senior, Green averaged 31.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and five assists per game.
He was named Sports Illustrated All-American player of the year.
Instead of taking a scholarship to play in college though, Green went to the G-League.
With the G-League Ignite, Green averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game.
He played 15 games total, including scoring a season-high 30 points, with seven assists and five rebounds, in the first round of the playoffs.
Green’s ability to create his own shot piqued the interests of NBA scouts and kept him atop draft boards.
Yeah you can't teach this.
Jalen Green is how old, again? pic.twitter.com/vHLJCYyYD1
— Nekias (Nuh-KY-us) Duncan (@NekiasNBA) August 8, 2021
Green Parlayed National Team Experience To Further Success
Green didn’t just pilot the G-League’s prep program, he also played extensively for Team USA.
While he’s yet to suit up for the Olympics, Green sports three gold medals from his time with the National Team.
Green debuted at the 2017 FIBA Under-16 Americas Championship, averaging 9.8 points en route to the gold.
In 2018, Green earned MVP honors at the FIBA Under-17 Basketball World Cup.
He posted a team-high 15.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game during that tournament.
In 2019, he participated in the FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup, averaging 10.1 points per game.
This experience helped Green mold his offensive game, something he’s already put on full display at the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas.
Jalen Green strong drive to end the first quarter 💪 pic.twitter.com/BbgUOenp5M
— Jackson Gatlin (@JTGatlin) August 8, 2021
Green’s game features a bevy of moves and counters.
He has the ability to step-back, a skill normally reserved for NBA veterans.
Green also attacks the rim and can soar for the score.
Using the pick-and-roll game, which is the staple of any NBA offense, Green pressures defenders with his speed and ball-handling ability.
Green’s already demonstrated the ability to be a three-level scorer on the basketball floor.
He can also play off the ball, which will be important during his time with the Rockets if John Wall remains with the club.
While not the best defender, Green’s ability to score flashes the 19-year-old’s franchise-altering potential.