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Jalen Green acknowledges Harden ‘can help and hurt’ progress

Jalen Green acknowledges Harden ‘can help and hurt’ progress
Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) dribbles the ball during the first quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at Toyota Center. (Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

HOUSTON (BVM) – While only four teams remain in this year’s NBA playoffs, league speculation has already turned towards the upcoming months of the offseason with a host of rumors surrounding one of the key players from the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Following an early 3-2 lead over the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers eventual second-round exit has come with bigger questions for one of the NBA’s early title favorites with star guard James Harden set to hit free agency.

James Harden Jalen Green
Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (1) looks to make a play against Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) during the third quarter at Wells Fargo Center. (Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

With Harden headlining this year’s crop of free agents, the 10-time All-Star has already found himself as the target of the league’s rumor mill with Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reporting that the “belief among NBA executives is that James Harden will rejoin the Houston Rockets this summer.”

Current franchise centerpiece Jalen Green delved into some of the rumors on the Podcast P with Paul George, as the current Los Angeles Clippers forward explained some of his thoughts on why it might be an uncomfortable fit to bring in the former Rockets’ star.

“You gotta go through being double teamed, being triple teamed, being the target every time, you gotta go through that,” George said. “And you bring on someone like James, who’s such a ball-dominant player, that’s going to hinder your growth a little bit.”

“Facts, I agree,” Green said of George’s statement.

 

The second-year guard has been at the forefront of the Rockets’ rebuilding plans following Harden’s trade to the Brooklyn Nets back in 2021, but a disappointing 22-60 campaign has the franchise searching for answers. Green averaged 22.1 points, and 3.7 assists during this past season, proving to be one team’s true difference makers.

With a potential move to reunite one of Houston’s past stars with its current one, the idea still might need some workshopping before it decides to dive all the way in.

“Regardless of how it can elevate you on another level of him teaching you, and you learning off him, I feel like for you, you’ve already been through the fire so like let you continue to learn,” George shares.

“I agree,” Green said. “I think it plays both ways like you just said. It can help and hurt at the same time. I didn’t really talk to him much about the rumors and stuff like that but I’m with you on that.”

The upcoming offseason will be a pivotal one for the Houston franchise but deciding which direction the team wants to go will surely start at the Harden move. With the No. 4 selection in the 2023 NBA Draft, the Rockets will have to determine how the potential move affects their team-building plans moving forward as they aim to retool for the next season.