The Rockets initially believed Gerald Green would miss a few months with a broken foot.
The injury looks even worse than that.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
This is a blow to Houston’s depth. Green is a good and willing 3-point shooter. The wing would’ve gotten plenty of open looks playing with James Harden and Russell Westbrook and provided spacing for those two stars.
Danuel House and Austin Rivers could get bigger roles now. Ben McLemore (whose salary is only partially guaranteed) could make the regular-season roster and maybe even the rotation.
The Rockets now effectively have two deadweight guaranteed minimum salaries on the roster – Green’s and Nene’s. Houston will likely trade Nene.
Green? It’s more complicated.
Because he’s on a one-year contract and will have Bird Rights after, Green holds an implicit no-trade clause. Maybe the Houston native who has seemed very happy with the Rockets the last couple seasons will permit a trade to help his hometown team.
That way, the Rockets could sign someone else later in the season to the pro-rated minimum and stay under the luxury-tax line. Even paying a team extra cash to take Green could mean coming out ahead financially.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Houston offered Green a contract for next season if he allows a trade this season, but the NBA is also cracking down on those under-the-table deals. It’s riskier to skirt the rules now.
A key consideration: Will Green be healthy for the playoffs? The Rockets are eying a deep run. If Green will be healthy by June, they might just keep him rostered.