Rockets eyeing Khris Middleton; could the Bucks get Jalen Green?

Dec 11, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

Following the Milwaukee Bucks’ brief trip to the 2023 NBA playoffs, Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Houston Rockets are interested in Khris Middleton. The Rockets have “addressed the idea” of moving on from Jalen Green in a potential trade.

The Bucks could be a potential trade partner for the young guard, considering Houston’s interest in Middleton. The former second overall pick would provide some much-needed youth for Milwaukee. Green averaged a team-high 22.1 points per game on 41/34/79 shooting splits for Houston. A trade for Green would provide Milwaukee with youth and shot-making, but he would need a lot of work in other areas of the game in order for the Bucks to be championship contenders with him.

Rockets eyeing Khris Middleton; could the Bucks get Jalen Green?

One thing to keep in mind about these reports is that Houston does indeed have the money to sign Middleton outright. Perhaps they are looking to sign another player with their remaining salary and thinking about dealing Green for a win-now piece. This season was the final season of Middleton’s monster contract, but he has a player option worth $40 million for the upcoming season. It will be interesting to see how both Khris and the Bucks organization approach this. The only real way Milwaukee would be able to acquire Green via trade would be to sign and trade Middleton. Moving on from Middleton’s contract would also be a major plus for the Bucks.

Jalen Green would be a risky trade target for Milwaukee, but even with the risk he is a player with tremendous upside. One odd thing about these reports is how quickly Houston is giving up on him. Green was First Team All-Rookie last year and was among the best players in his draft class this past season. Sure, Houston was a horrible NBA team both years, but it seems a little quick to be giving up on Green. That is something that makes you skeptical.

Green can put the ball in the hoop in several ways and is an extremely athletic young guard. With that being said, shot selection and defense are two things Green doesn’t do well. He has also struggled to be efficient in his first couple of seasons, and many people around the Rockets question his engagement.

The good news about his flaws is that they are things that can be corrected through good coaching and mentoring. A player like Jalen Green with loads of potential and youth could be something that leads Milwaukee toward a better future. Based on what we saw from Khris Middleton this year, this is a trade Milwaukee would have to consider as the league’s oldest roster coming off a first-round playoff exit.

Trading for Green would probably not move the needle right away, but rather give the Bucks a brighter future, considering they are way too old for an NBA team. A potential backcourt of Holiday and Green would not have a lot of playmaking potential, but it would give the Bucks a foundation to build off of regarding the guard spots. If Jrue Holiday were able to play with Green, it would likely help Holiday exert more effort into finding his teammates and playing lockdown defense. All in all, acquiring Jalen Green would be a risky move with a lot of potential upsides for Milwaukee. I like to think of it as a “project.”

It will be interesting to see how the Bucks move forward following a gutting playoff loss.

Next. 4 Bucks who should be cut loose following disastrous playoff loss to Heat. dark

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