#2. Houston Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate
Another Rockets player that the team can build their future around is Jae’Sean Tate, who is entering his rookie season in the NBA. Tate, who is 25 years old, spent his first couple of years playing overseas basketball professionally after going undrafted in 2018.
Tate bounced around playing for clubs in Belgium and Australia. After excelling overseas, Houston Rockets GM Rafael Stone took notice of Tate’s hidden talent and signed him in November 2020. With less than a month prior to the start of the 2020-2021 NBA season, Tate competed in training camp for a roster spot and impressed Houston Rockets head coach, Stephen Silas.
After 15 games played with the team, Tate is averaging 8.7 points, 4.4 rebounds on 52-percent field goal percentage while playing an average of 26 minutes per game. Tate is ninth in scoring among NBA rookies and is well positioned to earn All-Rookie honors with his continued level of play.
What makes Jae’Sean Tate an exciting prospect is his versatility on offense, as he is listed as a small forward but has seen a respectable amount of time at the power forward spot as well. While he is only 6’4”, Tate weighs in at 230 pounds which is considerably big for his height.
Similar to P.J. Tucker, who is an undersized forward, Tate is able to stand his ground when it comes to defending bigger opponents. However, unlike Tucker, Tate has shown flashes of playmaking brilliance earlier this season.
In a game against the San Antonio Spurs, Tate had a game high 10 assists which helped the Houston Rockets win in a comeback victory against their division rivals. The following game, he had five assists, which was the highest among his teammates again, despite losing that matchup.
With P.J. Tucker’s inevitable exit with the team following this season due to his age and the direction the team is heading in, Tate is an exciting prospect for the team to have moving forward and can evolve into an exciting talent with the Houston Rockets in their post-Harden era.
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