Houston Rockets: Five players who will earn an NBA award
#1 Jae’Sean Tate – All-Rookie Team
The Houston Rockets are in a different era of basketball since trading Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. During Harden’s tenure with the Houston Rockets, the franchise didn’t spend much time developing younger players given the team’s aggressive approach of acquiring role players with proven experience who were ready to make a contribution in their quest of chasing a championship.
Stephen Silas, a first-year head coach, has been tasked this season with rebuilding the Rockets’ chemistry. The franchise brought in a plethora of new personnel during training camp, some came with NBA experience, but a 25 year old rookie caught Silas’ attention.
“The one guy that stands out the most that people don’t really know of and doesn’t get the notoriety is Jae’Sean Tate”, Silas said during training camp. Tate has a unique background that has seen him play professionally all around the world.
However, it didn’t take him long to earn the trust of the coaching staff or his teammates. With ten NBA games under his belt, Tate is averaging 8.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game in 24.7 minutes a game.
Tate scored a season-high 13 points in his NBA debut against the Blazers and then reached that milestone again earlier this week in a comeback victory against the Spurs. More than just a scorer, Tate dished out 10 assists in that game against San Antonio for a double-double.
Tate has a big frame as he is listed at 6’4” and 230 lbs. For reference, that’s how heavy Draymond Green is, who is two inches taller than Tate. His combination of size, speed, and power allow him to play much larger than his height would suggest.
Tate has spent 41-percent of his playing time at small forward and 40-percent at power forward. His defensive versatility has been incredibly important for the Rockets’ this season as their defensive rating with him on the court is 105.3 points per 100 possessions and balloons to 116.2 without him on the court.
Tate’s ability to defend multiple positions is rare for a rookie and could make him a long-term building block for the franchise. Considering P.J. Tucker‘s future with the team is unclear, it is possible that Tate’s positive development this season could see the franchise move Tucker this season.
If Jae’Sean Tate continues to improve throughout the course of the season, Houston Rockets fans should expect him to be a candidate for All-NBA Rookie Team honors whether it is the First or Second Team. The last player to earn All-Rookie honors with the franchise was Chandler Parsons in 2012.
Could the team be looking at a rising star in the making? If the start of his career is any indication then Tate at the very worst will be an ace defensive specialist. Houston Rockets fans may have found themselves a hidden gem with Jae’Sean Tate.