The Toronto Raptors are trying to find ways to build around their young star in Scottie Barnes, while the Houston Rockets appear to be in the mood for a more complete teardown around Jalen Green. Ime Udoka is likely going to do everything in his power to turn the page on Stephen Silas.
This may even include getting rid of Green himself, who was picked No. 2 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft before Barnes. Green averaged 22.1 points per game last year on 42% from the field, but attracted some criticism for his lack of defense and failure to get the Rockets out of tanking territory.
There has been plenty of outside rumblings that hint at a toxic culture in Houston, and Green might play a part in that. If that is the case, the idea of wiping out the Silas era by ditching Green and starting fresh with whomever the Rockets pick high in this class might appeal to Udoka. Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports hinted at that possibility.
With the Raptors in need of a player like Green and an organizational desire to win as soon as possible, could a trade go down? The idea of this trade is improbable, with the Raptors, in particular, lacking the collection of assets that would get a deal done.
The Toronto Raptors might not trade for Jalen Green.
If this were to happen, Green would be a tremendous fit in Toronto. Even at his young age, he’s shown to be an excellent scorer and creator that will only continue to get better with more support and scoring around him.
With the Spurs holding the keys to Toronto’s draft for years to come due to Jakob Poeltl, the Raptors don’t have a haul of picks that would entice Houston. If the Rockets are eyeing a win-now move that could help them get some extra depth, the Raptors are deficient in that area as well.
If the Raptors trade Pascal Siakam to another contender, a scenario that looks incredibly unlikely (to put it mildly) right now, the Raptors may not be in a position to offload a collection of assets to Houston for Green. The defensive struggles aren’t just a concern; they’re so debilitating that it is impacting his NBA ceiling.
The Green rumors are likely nothing more than Houston posturing and signaling that they intend to remake the roster. Unless the Raptors come with a boatload of picks and players they have often been unwilling to sacrifice, trading for him might be a matter better left to someone else.