Tuesday, December 7 2021

Earlier this month, Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta took the unconventional step of giving second-year forward Jae’Sean Tate an early guarantee for his upcoming NBA contract.

At the time, here’s what the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen wrote: “The decision to guarantee Tate’s contract was directed by Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, with Fertitta wanting to reward Tate but also to send the message that Tate’s determined play and attitude last season should be considered an example of the team’s priorities.”

Weeks later, in the first public comments by Tate since the news broke, he tells Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston that he is determined to prove Fertitta and the organization right for their commitment. Tate said:

I’m very grateful. All the thanks to Rafael [Stone], Patrick [Fertitta], and Tilman, for not only allowing me to have a little bit of comfort, financially, but also having that out of the back of my mind. It just shows how much that they trust me, and how important I am to them. That’s awesome. It just wants to make me work even harder.

A guy coming from being undrafted and going overseas… not only them guaranteeing one but two years, it just shows that they value me. That’s always great, when somebody shows that they value you. I’m just grateful to be here. I love the city of Houston, and I love being a part of this organization. I’m just excited.

I’ve been working really hard this summer, and my whole goal is to prove Rafael, Patrick, and Tilman right — that they did the right thing of guaranteeing those contracts. I think they will show this year.

A 6-foot-4 lefty who is known best for his defense, Tate averaged 11.3 points (50.6% FG), 5.3 rebounds and 29.2 minutes last season. Tate played in 70 of Houston’s 72 games, and his versatility and toughness quickly won supporters around the organization and positioned him as a key cog of the team’s ongoing rebuild. Now 25 years old, Tate is projected by most as a frontcourt starter entering 2021-22 training camp, and he’s under contract with the Rockets for at least two more seasons.

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2020-21 Rockets roster review, offseason outlook: Jae’Sean Tate

Source: Yahoo Sports

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