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Houston Rockets: Jae’Sean Tate proves he belongs

PORTLAND, OREGON - DECEMBER 26: Jae'Sean Tate #8 of the Houston Rockets shoots past CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers during the second quarter at Moda Center on December 26, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OREGON - DECEMBER 26: Jae'Sean Tate #8 of the Houston Rockets shoots past CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers during the second quarter at Moda Center on December 26, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets
Jae’Sean Tate #8 of the Houston Rockets and CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

When the Houston Rockets signed Jae’Sean Tate to a three-year contract the move was met with little fanfare. The reason was quite simple, Tate may have starred in Australia’s National Basketball League with the Sydney Kings but he was a relative unknown to most NBA observers.

American exceptionalism aside, the NBL is not known for producing high caliber NBA players on a regular basis. In fact, 2020 might be a banner year for the NBL, as two first-round picks LaMelo Ball and R.J. Hampton both played in the NBL before being selected to go along with Tate and Justinian Jessup, a second-round pick of the Golden State Warriors.

Jae’Sean Tate’s path to the NBA proves a roadmap for his future

What was once a retirement league for former NBA players is quickly becoming a hotbed for young prospects and overlooked college players to realize their NBA dreams. Tate’s rise in the NBL was part of a long and winding path that saw him persevere through adversity that has ended many careers.

Jae’Sean Tate has proven he belongs in the NBA and the Rockets, along with himself, are the clear benefactors. While Tate likely won’t win rookie of the year, he has a strong case to the claim of best rookie this season.

The Rockets found a gem in the land down under and Tate looks to have a long and productive NBA career ahead of him. Let’s take a quick look at the road less traveled that Tate traversed to make it to the NBA, then how he is already making an impact, and finally, what his future holds.

Next: Jae'Sean Tate's path to the NBA

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