Gerald Green

Rockets Notes: House, Ariza, LeBron

As the Rockets got off to a rough start, a big issue plaguing the team was a lack of depth, especially on the wing. With Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute departing in the offseason and Carmelo Anthony deemed too much of a negative to be part of the rotation, the Rockets were left with James Ennis and not much else.

That is where the emergence of Danuel House comes into play. As Jonathan Feigen writes for The Houston Chronicle, House has stepped up in recent games and provided a much-needed lift for the Rockets. House insists he is focused on hitting shots, playing solid defense and providing energy off the bench, especially as Ennis recently went down with an injury and Eric Gordon has been inserted into the starting lineup.

The Rockets have started to turn things around in recent games, with House providing an unexpected jolt off the bench just when the team needed one.

There’s more from the Rockets:

  • The Rockets have surely missed Ariza’s presence and leadership, which Tania Ganguli details for The Los Angeles Times. Gerald Green and P.J. Tucker are quoted on the value that Ariza can bring to a locker room, especially on the Rockets team that had high aspirations last season.
  • A brief but flashy storyline in the offseason was the potential that LeBron James would join his friend Chris Paul and defending MVP James Harden in Houston to form a new super team. Of course, that never happened and Dave McMenamin of ESPN reveals (via Twitter) that James didn’t give much thought to actually joining the Rockets.
  • The Rockets recently emerged as a potential suitor for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the 25-year-old shooting guard from the Lakers. Caldwell-Pope can provide defense and 3-point shooting, which the Rockets could use more of moving forward.

Poll: Rockets’ Playoff Chances

In what has seemingly been a weekly topic among NBA fans and analysts, the Rockets‘ slow start has only gotten worse, as they have now lost three straight games for the third time this season and sit at 11-14, good for 14th in the Western Conference.

What many brushed off as a simple slump due to injuries and cold shooting has continued throughout the season, despite the team boasting the healthiest rotation in recent games as Chris Paul, Gerald Green and Nene have all returned from injuries.

While the Rockets’ offense has struggled from time to time (they rank ninth in the league), it is the defense that has continued to fail them, as they have fallen all the way down to 25th on that end of the floor. Additionally, the team’s lack of quality depth has been exposed as a result of their top players not leading the way as expected.

Chris Paul is in the midst of the worst season of his career while Eric Gordon has been nowhere near the levels from previous seasons. Meanwhile, James Harden and Clint Capela are putting up eye-opening offensive numbers but aren’t playing the level of defense they were at last season. Combine all of those factors together and you get the perfect recipe for this disastrous season for the Rockets.

Barring a trade, there is no solution on the way, especially considering the amount of problems that need solving. Sure, the season is just over one-quarter of the way through, but the Rockets’ recent play doesn’t inspire confidence in their abilities moving forward.

At the moment, the Rockets are just 2 1/2 games out of the eighth seed. That begs the question, do you think the Rockets will make the playoffs? Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments section!

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote

Rockets Re-Sign Gerald Green

JULY 10: The Rockets have officially re-signed Green, the team announced today in a press release.

JULY 1: Houston native Gerald Green will be returning to the Rockets for the 2018/19 season, per Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston (Twitter link). According to Berman, Green and the Rockets have reached an agreement on a one-year, minimum-salary contract.

Having played for eight teams in his NBA career since debuting in 2005, Green returned to his hometown for a second stint with the Rockets in 2017/18. He enjoyed a productive year for the West’s No. 1 seed, averaging 12.1 PPG and 3.2 RPG with a .407/.369/.850 shooting line in 41 games (22.7 MPG).

According to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link), the Rockets liked what Green brought to his role and “absolutely loved his attitude.”

Re-signing Green at an affordable rate is an important move for the Rockets, who will lose veteran forward Trevor Ariza to the Suns. Houston will also make an effort to bring back Luc Mbah a Moute, as well as Clint Capela. The club has already agreed to terms on a four-year, maximum-salary deal with Chris Paul.

As our chart of minimum salaries shows, Green’s new deal will pay him $2,393,887, though he’ll only count for $1,512,601 against Houston’s cap.

FA Rumors: Jazz, Bertans, G. Green, Caupain

The Jazz will enter the offseason with a little spending flexibility, but their top priority is retaining their own free agents. As Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune writes, general manager Dennis Lindsey has made it clear privately and publicly that the team wants to re-sign Derrick Favors, Dante Exum, and Raul Neto, who will have the opportunity to reach the open market on Sunday. Favors, in particular, has already “piqued the interest” of multiple teams, per Jones, but the big man and the Jazz have mutual interest in continuing their relationship.

League sources tell Jones that the Jazz will do their due diligence on top free agents, but the club likely won’t have cap room available for outside targets. Instead, Utah will have its mid-level exception available, and in this market, it’s not unreasonable to expect that exception – worth about $8.6MM – to be enough for a starter or a high-level backup, writes Jones. While there’s no guarantee that the Jazz will use its full MLE on one player, the team could target a scorer capable of creating his own shot, Jones notes.

Here’s more on free agency, with July 1 right around the corner:

  • The Jazz and Nets are among the teams expected to challenge the Spurs for restricted free agent Davis Bertans, a source tells Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). We heard earlier today that Brooklyn will seek a stretch four, and Utah was in the market for a similar player during the season. Bertans, a 6’10” forward who has made 38.4% of his career three-pointers, fits the bill.
  • Free agent swingman Gerald Green will meet with the Rockets in Los Angeles on July 1, league sources tell Chris Haynes of ESPN.com (Twitter link). According to Haynes, Green will have multiple suitors.
  • The Magic and guard Troy Caupain have discussed a possible two-way contract agreement, per Nicola Lupo of Sportando (Twitter link). Caupain spent last season with the Lakeland Magic, Orlando’s G League affiliate.

Spears’ Latest: Crawford, Rockets, Rondo, Evans

We heard on Thursday that multiple Warriors players are lobbying for the front office to go after Jamal Crawford in free agency, but Golden State isn’t the only team that will kick the tires on the veteran scorer. According to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, the Pelicans, Sixers, Cavaliers, and Nuggets are also expected to show interest in Crawford, who is focusing on finding the right fit.

“For any player in free agency, fit and situation is so important,” Crawford told Spears. “You see players in one situation and they go to another and they look totally different. I’ve been around long enough to know that the player didn’t change. May just be the situation that he’s in. There is nothing wrong with that either. It’s all a part of growing and taking something positive out of that.

“For me, fit and situation may be even more important, because coming off the bench, you have to be able to make something happen for your team in a smaller amount of time,” Crawford continued. “So I truly have to have the right fit, and that was part of the reason I opted out (of his contract with the Timberwolves).”

Spears passes along several more notes on free-agents-to-be, so let’s round up the highlights…

  • In addition to working on re-signing Chris Paul and Clint Capela, the Rockets will also make an effort to retain Luc Mbah a Moute and Gerald Green, according to Spears, who suggests that Trevor Ariza could end up as the odd man out in Houston.
  • Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins are good friends, but Rondo would like to re-sign with the Pelicans regardless of whether Cousins stays or goes, per Spears.
  • The Grizzlies have interest in re-signing Tyreke Evans, but there’s a belief that he’ll be too expensive for Memphis to retain him, according to Spears. The Grizzlies don’t have Evans’ Bird rights, so they can only offer him their mid-level exception.
  • Although Avery Bradley is considered likely to land elsewhere, the Clippers do have interest in re-signing him, a source tells Spears.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2018: Houston Rockets

The Rockets committed to a certain title contention window when they traded half of their roster in exchange for Chris Paul. The deal has paid dividends considering that the addition of the future Hall of Famer has taken the franchise from solid Western Conference team in a world dominated by the Warriors to a legitimate championship contender.

For that reason, the Rockets will head into the summer with one primary goal: bringing Paul back. If, or perhaps when, that happens, the club will go about filling out the rest of the roster, likely retaining several of the rest of their pending free agents and filling out the lineup with journeymen on minimum deals.

Trevor Ariza, 33, SF (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $32MM deal in 2014
There are few intangibles guys better suited to complement the current Rockets core than Ariza but that doesn’t mean general manager Daryl Morey will overextend the franchise to keep him on-board. Fortunately, he may not have to. While Ariza has serious value as the starting small forward on a very competitive roster, he’s not the type of asset that rebuilding teams would pursue given his age and the price tag may be too steep for another contender, desperate to plug him in alongside their current core. Unless a lottery team foolishly dumps a pile of money on his doorstep, Ariza will be back in Houston in the $10MM range for as long as the club’s title contention window is open.

Tarik Black, 26, C (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $3MM deal in 2017
Black has shown flashes of promise in spot minutes over the course of his four-year career but he’s not the intriguing bargain bin scratch ticket he used to be. He’s not a bad option for the cash-strapped Rockets if they can bring him back for the minimum but if there’s any other organization desperate enough to offer more than that, it would make sense to let him walk.

Clint Capela, 24, C (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $6MM deal in 2014
After four years as one of the most cost effective game changers in the NBA, Capela is going to get paid as a restricted free agent. Capela is young, has a proven track record of playing a major role for a serious contender and hasn’t even scratched the surface of what he’d be capable of in starter’s minutes. It would surprise me if Capela doesn’t land a max offer sheet as a restricted free agent this summer and Houston has no choice but to match it if they want to continue being the only team with a semi-realistic chance of unseating the Warriors.

Gerald Green, 32, SG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $1MM deal in 2017
Green went from being practically out of basketball to putting forth his most inspired NBA season in years. In 2017/18, Green went unsigned until December. I anticipate that the Houston native will be back on board with the Rockets for the veteran’s minimum as soon as the dust settles on the rest of the team’s summer plans.

Joe Johnson, 37, SF (Down) – Signed to a one-year deal in 2018
The Rockets took a flyer on Johnson after he was bought out of the albatross deal he signed with the Jazz in 2016 but never managed to break into the club’s admittedly stacked rotation. It would make zero sense for any team to pay more than the veteran’s minimum for the greybeard after three years of team changes and pedestrian production.

Luc Mbah a Moute, 31, SF (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $2MM deal in 2017
The Rockets have done a fine job of surrounding their world-class skill players with defensive-minded role players. Landing Mbah a Moute for the minimum last summer was an incredibly valuable move. It’s hard to imagine that Mbah a Moute would sign for that cheap again this season seeing as he could realistically double or even triple that amount without breaking the bank for another contender. The Rockets would be happy to bring him back but may not be able to afford both he and Ariza.

Chris Paul, 33, PG (Down) – Signed to a five-year, $107MM deal in 2013
It wasn’t long ago that Paul seemed destined to sign a super max contract with the Clippers and retire a franchise legend. Fast forward to the summer of 2018 and we’re living in an entirely different reality. Paul performed brilliantly during his first season with the Rockets and his impact on the legitimate title contender is undisputed. That said, the franchise isn’t automatically compelled to offer a max money, four-year deal that would terminate when Paul is 37 years old. In a perfect world, the Rockets would sign him to a two- or three-year deal instead of going full-term.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Gerald Green Considered Retirement In 2017

After being waived by the Bucks before the 2017/18 regular season got underway, Gerald Green contemplated the possibility of retirement, as Kristie Rieken of The Associated Press writes. According to Green, he contacted his agent to set up an informal deadline to find another NBA job.

“I was like, ‘Look man, when January 1, 2018, hits, if I’m unsigned, I’m putting out a big statement on my Instagram letting everybody know, thank you for the awesome career over all these years but I’m done,'” Green said. “‘I ain’t going to play no more.'”

Green’s self-imposed deadline was just days away when the Rockets offered him a spot on their roster — he signed with the team on December 28, then had his salary guaranteed for the season a couple weeks later.

Now, Green admits that the call from the Rockets took him by surprise. As Rieken details, the veteran swingman had been “mentally checked out” from the NBA, and was spending his time working in real estate and helping victims of Hurricane Harvey.

“Basketball was the last thing on my mind until I got that call,” Green said. “Then it’s kind of like … ‘Are you serious?'”

In 41 regular season games for the Rockets, Green looked revitalized, averaging 12.1 PPG and 3.2 RPG for his hometown team. Those were his best marks since the 2013/14 campaign. While Green’s role hasn’t been as significant in the playoffs, he appears likely to head into the 2018 offseason with a better chance of finding a guaranteed contract than he had a year ago. As such, retirement probably won’t be a strong possibility for the 32-year-old this summer.

Southwest Notes: Green, Messina, Selden, Pelicans

Gerald Green‘s 2017/18 season changed drastically as he went from unemployed – cut by the Bucks after four preseason games – to joining the Rockets, a team he grew up rooting for. As the Rockets await their next challenge in the second round, Green is thrilled to be back in Houston and helping the team, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon writes.

“When I signed with the Rockets, I just kind of felt like that was my calling card,” Green said. “I’m going to be here. I want to help out. “I’m going to continue to keep putting [effort] in and keep helping out as many people as I can using this platform. I like to be able to do that. I like to see smiles [from the people] that you can help out. And right now, the city is still in need. It’s almost been a year, and it’s not back the same.”

Green became a lethal force off the bench, averaging 12.1 PPG and shooting from beyond the arc at a near 37% clip in 41 games. The 11-year NBA veteran continued being a helping hand for Houston against the Timberwolves, a series which the Rockets won in five games.

Check out more Southwest notes down below:

  • Manu Ginobili may officially retire this offseason, which will continue to shrink a Spurs core that has been a constant in the NBA for nearly two decades. Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post looks at what could the end of an era in San Antonio with Tim Duncans recent retirement, the possible departures of Ginobili and Tony Parker, and the ongoing drama with Kawhi Leonard.
  • Following the death of Gregg Popovich‘s wife Erin, assistant coach Ettore Messina stepped up to coach San Antonio for Games 3 through 5. He enters the offseason as a popular candidate for numerous head coaching vacancies and his three-game cameo may have helped his chances, Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News writes.
  • Michael Wallace of NBA.com examined Wayne Selden‘s season and his possible role with the Grizzlies moving forward. Selden averaged 9.3 PPG while shooting an impressive 40.2% from three-point range.
  • The Pelicans are headed for a second-round clash with the Warriors, an outcome that may have seemed unlikely several months ago. William Guillory of NOLA.com looks at how the current roster was assembled.

Southwest Notes: Green/Paul, Aldridge, Ginobili, Parsons

Late in Sunday night’s win over Minnesota, Gerald Green of the Rockets shoved Timberwolves big man Gorgui Dieng into the stands in retaliation for Dieng pushing Chris Paul to the floor after being fouled

Green was ejected, causing Paul to speak out on his behalf, telling Rockets‘ beat writer Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that he would take care of any fine levied against Green by the league. Said Green, “I’m just trying to be there for my teammate. I saw something happen and I reacted. I paid the consequences for it. I learned my lesson, got ejected, try not to do that again, and hopefully we’re going to move forward from this.”

Despite Green’s contrition, the league announced today that it has fined the Rockets swingman $25K for the incident, with no word yet on whether or not Paul with stay true to his word and foot the bill for Green coming to his defense.

There’s more coming out of the Southwest Division:

  • With all of the uncertainty surrounding the injury to and possible return of superstar Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge has quietly saved the Spurs‘ season, writes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. “I’m a leader, so I have to do what we need – playing defense, blocking shots, scoring,” Aldridge said. “It all comes with it. But my teammates have been great. Everyone has gotten better in this stretch. It’s been good for us.”
  • In another article for the San Antonio Express-News, McDonald reports that Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr believes that Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili, 40, still has another year or so left in the tank. “I could see Manu playing when he is like 58, honestly,” Kerr said before Monday’s game. “He loves the game. He keeps himself in such great shape. I thought he was going to retire last year, so the fact he came back this year surprised me. (But) it wouldn’t shock me at all if Manu came back next year.”
  • It has been a frustrating tenure so far in Memphis for Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons, but as reported by Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com, Parsons believes he can get back to form next season barring any additional injury setbacks. “Obviously, there were high expectations coming here and I haven’t come close to meeting them. But in my head, it’s all health. I know if I’m healthy, I can play with the best of them. And I’ve shown flashes of that this year when I’ve played minutes.”

Rockets Notes: Ariza, Tucker, Green

Rockets forward Trevor Ariza is expected to miss the team’s four-game road trip because of a left hamstring injury, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. He was injured during their game against the Suns on Sunday. With Ariza out, Luc Mbah a Moute will likely move into the starting lineup and Gerald Green will return to the rotation, Feigen adds“It’s always one thing and another,” guard Eric Gordon told Feigen about the team’s struggles with injuries this season. “The good thing about this team is we’re deep. Anybody to be replaced, we always do well.”

In other news involving the Rockets:

  • Forward P.J. Tucker has emerged as the team’s ironman, Feigen notes in a separate story. He has appeared in every game this season, averaging 5.3 PPG and 5.8 RPG in 26.8 MPG. Tucker, who signed a four-year, $32MM contract during free agency last July, has only missed one game over the past three seasons due to injury, Feigen adds. “I knock on wood every time I walk away from here,” Tucker told Feigen. “I don’t even think about it because I haven’t been injured. It doesn’t cross my mind.”
  • Green wasn’t upset about losing his rotation spot despite his hot shooting, as Feigen relays in yet another piece. Green has averaged 13.7 PPG and made 40.9% of his 3-point attempts in 12 games since the team signed him. But he had only played four minutes in three games until Ariza’s injury. “I’m blessed to have this type opportunity. I have a chance … to win a ring,” Green told Feigen. “Whatever role that I have on this team, I’m more than honored to have. Right now, I know my number is getting ready to be called. I’ve been in the gym working.”