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Rockets 2021 player previews: Jae’Sean Tate and Kenny Wooten

It’s season preview time!

NBA: Summer League-New York Knicks at Toronto Raptors Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

It’s training camp time for our Houston Rockets, and while Jeremy has everything you may need in our training camp primer, we’re also breaking down each of the individual players now on the roster. And with new GM Rafael Stone running things and brand new head coach Stephen Silas aboard, we also have some brand new faces to discuss along with some of the names we’re very familiar with. So let’s get started!

Jae’Sean Tate

The Rockets signed the 6’4” forward to a three-year deal partially-guaranteed deal, and he’ll be battling for one of the final few roster spots or assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers G-League affiliate.

Tate went undrafted out of Ohio State in 2018, and after a failed stint with the Milwaukee Bucks in which he fractured his hand, he then went overseas and spent some time in the Basketball Champions League, where he played for the Antwerp Giants.

After that, he signed with the Sydney Kings in the National Basketball League, where won team MVP honors last season after averaging 16.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. Kings chairman Paul Smith had this to say to ESPN about Tate:

“JT is just an inspiration. His journey to the NBA has been characterized by life challenges, as well as those who doubted the incredible player that he is.

“I tried my hardest to convince him to stay, I even offered to adopt him as my only son, but evidently he had to decline. He will always be our guy, and today we’re very proud.”

Hopefully, the 25-year-old can blossom in H-town. He’ll have the opportunity with a new regime in place.

Kenny Wooten

The Rockets claimed Wooten off of waivers from the New York Knicks this offseason and signed him to a two-way deal, which means they likely expect him to, at the very least, spend some time in Rio Grande Valley. And with the team re-investing in big men after the failed small ball experiment, the 6’8” power forward has the chance to make his mark on the team with his athletic dunking and shot-blocking ability. He averaged 3.6 blocks per game (not a misprint) last season for the Westchester Knicks, which is New York’s G-League affiliate.

The 22-year-old Wooten still has plenty of developing to do, and it’d be nice to see him do it in H-town. The Rockets have been short on exciting bigs to develop for a while now (Anyone remember T Jones vs. D-Mo?), so I’m anxiously awaiting seeing him on the court.