Houston Rockets P.J. Tucker replacement #2: Jae’Sean Tate
Jae’Sean Tate has had an impressive rookie season and has rightly started the majority of his games. The Rockets routinely ran starting lineups that featured Tate and Tucker, which means sliding Tate into Tucker’s role will necessitate someone taking on Tate’s role.
Asking Tate to change roles mid-season, when he’s already had success in his current one, might not make much sense but he has the defensive versatility to capably fill Tucker’s spot. It’s difficult to find players who have the lateral quickness to stop players on the perimeter and who have the strength to hold off players in the post but Tate does.
While Tate, at this stage, is the best defensive replacement for Tucker, his offensive game is much more reminiscent of Kenyon Martin Jr’s than Tucker’s. On the season, Tate has converted 59.6-percent of his 2-point attempts and only 31.2-percent of his 3-pointers.
On offense, Tate has been able to get to and finish at the rim but outside of the paint, his scoring has been relatively inefficient. His offensive skill set is as a slasher and not a traditional floor spacer.
Tate has the ability to fill Tucker’s role on defense better than any other player currently on the Rockets. However, his offensive game is not like for like, and moving him into Tucker’s role would mean someone else would have to fill his role.