Why the Houston Rockets do this deal
The Houston Rockets need to somehow offload Jock Landale, who has been one of their few misses from the 2023 offseason. Landale was signed with the hopes of being a secondary big behind Alperen Sengun and has been unplayable.
Jae'Sean Tate is also arugably one of the Rockets' only interchangeable assets with positive trade value, due to the Rockets' depth at the wing position. Landing Daniel Gafford, a center who is averaging 10.5 points and 7.6 rebounds would be a hell of a acquisition.
Gafford is under contract through 2026, so it's not like he'd be a rental either. Mykhailiuk would also be a serviceable throw-in, as he's a 6'7 forward who is a career 35.7 percent long-range shooter (3.6 attempts) who made 40.4 percent of his triples just last season (4.7 attempts).
And his contract expires at the end of the season.
As for Lamar Stevens, the Rockets reportedly wanted him last offseason, but he landed with the Celtics. Stevens has a similar skillset as Tate: a solid defender who isn't capable of being relied on for long-range shooting.
This has been illustrated even further this season, as he's made just 28.6 percent from three and landed just 6.5 minutes. However, his contract is over after this season and he's only signed to the minimum anyways.
In other words, if Udoka doesn't want to play him, there's nothing that suggests he has to.