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Grading the Houston Rockets Offseason, Thus Far

N.B. Lindberg
2022 NBA Rookie Portraits
2022 NBA Rookie Portraits / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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Jae'Sean Tate, Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

Free Agency

Signed Jae'Sean Tate to a multi-year contract. Signed Bruno Fernando

Jae’Sean Tate wasn’t a textbook free agent. He entered the offseason with one more year on his deal, a team option. At around $1.5 million, his team option was as team-friendly as they come. So why did the Rockets decline it and then sign him to a three-year, $22.1 million contract?

The decision was a shrewd future-focused move that could save the Rockets money and flexibility. Because Tate has only been in the league for two seasons, the Rockets were limited in how much they could offer him in an extension. By extending him after two seasons, the Rockets artificially suppressed the amount of money he could be offered. If Tate played out the final season of his contract and hit free agency in a year, he would have been able to command a larger salary. 

RELATED: The Jae'Sean Tate-Rockets Big Brain Conspiracy Theory

The Rockets essentially paid more upfront to pay less down the line. The fact that they got a team option in the final season is just another bonus. 

Bruno Fernando was signed to an exhibit 10 contract which doesn’t guarantee him any salary and means he’ll be fighting for a roster spot in training camp. Fernando is a solid third-string center and is a perfectly fine break glass in case of an emergency backup center. 

RELATED: Rockets re-sign Bruno Fernando

The Rockets didn’t have much ability to go out into the free agency market, but this offseason class was relatively weak. They made the moves they could make, but because they didn’t make any wow moves, their grade suffers. 

Grade: B+

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