The Houston Rockets are currently riding a four-game winning streak and find themselves above .500 for the first time in ages (not literally, but you get the point). The Rockets' latest victim was the Los Angeles Lakers, who possess arguably the game's greatest player of all-time and were just in the Western Conference Finals earlier in the year.
The Rockets smoked the Lakers 128-94 and rested their starting rotation for the entire fourth quarter, as the game had already been decided by then. After the game, Lakers coach Darvin Ham was complimentary of the Rockets' players when explaining what went wrong for his Lakers team.
"They are a young, athletic team. Sengun is a hell of a player. Jalen Green is a hell of a young player."
This may sound like general coach-speak- speaking positively about an opponent that just took your team to the woodshed.
However, Ham had quite a bit more to say about Rockets fourth-year forward Jae'Sean Tate in particular.
"Jae'Sean Tate, man, is just a young bull. Like, he's just a Swiss Army knife and is just a bowling ball. He's tough. He plays a tough brand of defense."
Darvin Ham spills the beans on potential trade with Houston Rockets.
Tate possesses a skillset that the Lakers simply don't have outside of Jarred Vanderbilt, who has yet to take the court in the 2023-24 season. Tate is a hustle player who plays with unmatched effort and energy whenever he's on the floor.
Tate's greatest weakness has easily been his 3-point shot, or lack thereof, which limited him to just 28.3 percent from deep last season- a career worst. This season, Tate's 3-ball has been falling, as he's made 47.7 percent from deep on 2.7 attempts per contest.
Tate is under contract through 2024-25, although the 2024-25 season contains a team option. Tate's annual number this season is $6.5 million, which would be quite easy for the Lakers to absorb by sending out Jalen Hood-Schifino and Max Christie, from a salary standpoint.
The Rockets would likely nab a second-round pick from the Lakers in any deal involving Tate, which would be well worth it for the Lake Show. Tate's role would be easy for the Rockets to fill, as he's only playing 19.7 minutes this season, which could be given to Tari Eason, who missed the team's first six games, leading to more playing time for Tate off the bench in his absence.
Tate would also give the Lakers another secondary playmaker, as he possesses the ability to facilitate and create offense for others. He can also get a bucket, as he's rather impossible to stop from driving to the cup, due to his stocky frame.
If Ham is as high on Tate as he made it seem, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka could be calling Rafael Stone about orchestrating a deal.