In the 2023 NBA offseason, the Houston Rockets have had four players competing in at least some capacity for the national basketball team of their respective country. Those players are guard Jalen Green (United States), forward Dillon Brooks (Canada), and centers Alperen Sengun (Turkey) and Jock Landale (Australia).
All are 27 years old or younger, and three of them (all but Brooks) are entering just their third season in the NBA.
In some scenarios, extensive international duty can cause concern for teams who are afraid of potential injuries that could be suffered in contests that aren’t under the scope of their NBA contracts. In an extreme case, think Paul George from his 2014 Team USA duty.
But for a young team like these Rockets, the upside of extra experience likely trumps the downside. Though the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement doesn’t allow teams to have any say in whether their players take part in international competitions, Rockets general manager Rafael Stone appears to be supportive.
“If we were in a position to have more control, it would be a very player-by-player thing,” Stone told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “This summer, I’m really happy for our guys. They’re at points in their careers the additional reps are very valuable.”
“I can see where teams have concerns,” Stone said. “In our case this summer, we’re comfortable, and we’re encouraging those guys not just to play but to play great and come back as better players.”
Green’s U.S. Select Team stint is already over, though Brooks, Landale, and Sengun still have multiple weeks of competition left. The current international window will conclude several weeks before the NBA opens its 2023-24 training camps in early October.