Ranking the 5 best Houston Rockets this season

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 19: John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets huddles with the team against the Houston Rockets prior to the game at American Airlines Arena on April 19, 2021 in Miami, Florida. 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 Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 19: John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets huddles with the team against the Houston Rockets prior to the game at American Airlines Arena on April 19, 2021 in Miami, Florida. 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 Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers, Jae’Sean Tate #8 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers, Jae’Sean Tate #8 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

#3 Best Houston Rocket: Jae’Sean Tate

If the Rockets were in the playoff picture Jae’Sean Tate would have a real shot at landing the Rookie of the Year award, but instead, he’ll have to settle for the All-Rookie first team and the Rockets MVP. The question you might be asking is, how is it possible that the Rockets’ MVP is only third on this list?

Tate has been productive this season but his best ability has been availability. He has over a 600 minute lead on Christian Wood for the team lead in minutes played and he’ll be the only Rocket to eclipse 60 games played.

The lone constant for the Rockets this season has been Tate and as a rookie, he has done admirably. His combination of defense, finishing at the rim, and, when called upon, playmaking has him as the Rockets’ team leader in win shares.

There are still holes in his game but if Tate were on a better team he’d be lauded as one of the best rotation players in the league. He’s an efficient scorer within ten feet, doesn’t turn the ball over, and can defend multiple positions.

He’s the perfect player next to an offensive superstar and as he develops he could offer much more. The Rockets are better when Tate is on the court, which is a rarity for NBA rookies, regardless of their age.

He’s locked in for two more seasons and could end up being a foundational player. His skillset won’t see him drop 20 points a game consistently, but he does everything else well. In another timeline, Jae’Sean Tate for Rookie of the Year.

Next: #2

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