Report: Houston Rockets exercise options on multiple players in young core

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read

The Houston Rockets exercised options on several of their young players on Monday.

The team announced that it has exercised its fourth-year options for guard Jalen Green and center Alperen Sengun as well as the third-year options for forwards Tari Eason and Jabari Smith Jr.

These moves help Houston keep its young core intact for a little longer on rookie-scale deals before they are eligible to become free agents.

The Rockets made moves this past offseason to surround their young core with some veterans, as the team signed guard Fred VanVleet and wing Dillon Brooks in free agency. Hopefully, they’ll pair nicely with the young players on this Houston roster.

Green, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, is in his third season in the NBA. An All-Rookie Team selection in the 2021-22 season, Green averages 19.8 points per game for his career.

This season (three games), Green is averaging 17.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game while shooting 40.0 percent from the field and 25.0 percent from beyond the arc.

Green is a terrific athlete that can throw down a highlight-reel dunk from time to time.

The Rockets are hoping he can increase his efficiency as a scorer this season to help the team compete for a playoff spot. He’s also worked well with Sengun, who was the No. 16 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Green and Sengun run a nice two-man game in the pick-and-roll, something they did a few times against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night.

Sengun, 21, is averaging 19.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game this season for Houston. He averages 12.4 points per game for his career, so it’s possible the young Rockets big man could be in the midst of making a leap in his play this season.

Houston has had plenty of top draft picks since the team traded away James Harden, and that includes Smith, who was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

As a rookie, Smith averaged 12.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game while shooting 40.8 percent from the field and 30.7 percent from beyond the arc.

He has the potential to stretch the floor from the power forward position on offense, and Houston may view him as a switchable player on defense as well.

Smith held his own when switched on Warriors star Stephen Curry on Sunday.

Similar to Green, Smith needs to become more efficient as a scorer. He’s shooting just 37.8 percent from the field so far this season.

As for Eason, he was impressive as a rookie, averaging 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. The No. 17 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Eason has yet to make his debut this season due to a stress reaction in his left leg.

He’s expected to miss a few weeks with the injury.

Eason is a very solid defender for the Rockets, and his two-way abilities helped him make an All-Rookie Team last season.

Hopefully for Houston, these players will continue to improve to give the team a chance to make the playoffs in this season and beyond.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.