Jae'Sean Tate didn't exactly impress during his second year with the Houston Rockets, but the team still needs to hold onto him for at least one more year.
Do they pick up his team option for the 2022/2023 season?
The very easy and obvious answer to that question is yes.
Tate didn't take the expected steps in 2021, but that shouldn't be that surprising to anyone. Asking a guy that small to play the four is a tall order, even if he was able to defend well despite being under-sized.
If the Rockets really wanted to make a proper determination on Tate and his future, he probably needed to get more minutes at the three if last season was make or break.
Tate didn't do himself many favors offensively by struggling at shooting the three for most of the season, but there is still plenty of upside there to assume that Tate would be worth the money if he gets in as a rotational guy in 2022.
The good news for both parties is that almost any rookie in the 2022 NBA Draft should put the Rockets in a position where they no longer have to play Tate out of position. A rookie could step in and play the four well, giving Tate and Kenyon Martin Jr. the opportunity to play in a more advantageous position.
None of this is to guarentee that Jae'Sean Tate is immediately going to improve when they move him back to his better position, but the price is low enough that seeing how this role works in year three is all that makes sense for the Rockets going forward.
This decision may not be as obvious as it seemed it would be when Tate was selected to the NBA All-Rookie First Team over a year ago, but it still makes sense to see what the 26-year old can do with one more year before making a long-term decision.
The Rockets are still going to need depth in 2022. Jae'Sean Tate can bring that depth. Houston needs to pick up the option.