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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 (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Houston Rockets: Jae’Sean Tate, seasoned veteran, NBA Rookie

It was announced that the Houston Rockets had signed Jae’Sean Tate in late November of 2020. In a testament to the Rockets’ faith in Tate, they didn’t sign him to a two-way contract but a two-year deal worth $3 million with a team option for a third year at $1.7 million.

However, Tate wasn’t out of the woods just yet, his contract was only guaranteed for $50,000 until the start of the season when his guarantee would grow to $500,000. While this amount of money is nothing to sneeze at, in NBA terms, Tate could still be cut and cost the team an accounting error.

It has only been 16 games but Tate has proven to be a crucial part of the Rockets rotation. He has a positive plus/minus and has spent time at shooting guard, small forward, and power forward this season as the team has had to endure blockbuster trades and an ill-timed covid outbreak.

His defense has been fantastic and the stats back it up, his defensive rating of 108 points per 100 possessions is well below the league average of 110.4 points. Fivethirtyeight’s RAPTOR metric, used to quantify the number of wins a player contributes to his team, has him as the most valuable rookie that has played over 300 minutes this season.

Tate’s defense is fueling his unexpected rookie season and if he can keep it up he’ll carve out a long and NBA career. However, it’s his offense that holds the cards to his upside and the early indications look promising.

Next: Jae'Sean Tate's NBA future

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