With yesterday’s news that the Houston Rockets were reversing course and declining the the third-year team option of forward Jae’Sean Tate, many figured this moment to be up next, and it didn’t take long for that to be fulfilled: the Rockets signed Tate today to a long-term deal, giving him three years and $22.1 million, according to Shams.
We’ve been discussing Tate a lot here this week, so I’m not going to waste everyone’s time with his numbers or his journey again, but the Rockets continue to prove themselves as an organization that does right by its players, so whatever bs narrative the national media wants to spin about Houston’s supposed toxic culture or a place where players don’t want to play simply isn’t true.
The Rockets, and Rafael Stone more particularly, have made it a habit of taking care of their guys, from having no qualms about paying John Wall to be the world’s most expensive assistant, remaining on good terms with him the entire time, then giving him a boatload of money on a buyout, then also giving him the freedom to seek out a new home at an opportune time. or giving James Harden his wish on a trade to a team of his choice (and getting back what’s starting to look like a treasure chest), or sending P.J. Tucker to a top contender, or moving Christian Wood (who admittedly wasn’t working out) to a team that’s contending and appears to be a great fit, and now Tate’s extension.
The Rockets may have used to be a team under Daryl Morey that could often be accused of treating players simply as commodities, but that’s clearly no longer the case.
This was a good move for Houston on extending a top glue guy, and this answers a lot of fans’ questions about Tate’s place in the rebuild going forward. Whether in the starting lineup or off the bench (and coming off the bench is probably his best role eventually), Tate brings value to the team in terms of hustle, basketball IQ, defensive and offensive versatility, and leadership.
Congrats to Jae’Sean on getting that bag.