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Far-Fetched Friday: Jae’Sean Tate Will Be the Best Acquisition at Trade Deadline
By: Khaqan Khan
In a trade deadline season that might include blockbuster trades like Ben Simmons, Domantas Sabonis, John Collins, and CJ McCollum to name a few, the best acquisition for the 2021-2022 season will be Jae'Sean Tate. At a low cost, Tate has the potential to be a defensive X-factor on a contending team. My prediction is that Tate will have the highest impact in relation to his cost. Trading for a Jalen Brunson type of player will likely cost a rotation player as well as a decent pick, whereas Tate might cost next to nothing. By the end of the season, we will look back at the Jae'sean Tate trade as the best acquisition of the trade deadline. Whichever team trades for Jae'Sean Tate will make it to the finals.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday we look at a sneaky trade possibility.
Who is Jae'Sean Tate, you ask? An undrafted rookie coming out of Ohio State in 2018 who missed out on the summer league due to an injury costing him a roster spot. He immediately went overseas to Belgium to play for the Antwerp Ants, where he became an all-star and helped the team to a title. He then signed with the Sydney Kings in Australia, where he made first-team all-NBL. In 2020 he finally got his second chance at the NBA when he debuted as a 25-year-old rookie and made an immediate impact. Despite being on a team with no playoff hopes, Tate continues to play with effort. He fought way too hard to get to the league, it's clear he doesn't take any of this for granted.
At 6'4", often playing at the 3 and the 4, Tate plays bigger than his size, fitting the Draymond Green (6' 6") archetype. Athletic and powerful, a springy passer who is willing to set screens and cut, Tate can be the glue guy in the rotation on any team. His biggest impact will be on the defensive side. He is always active getting deflections, he can absorb contact, contest well against taller players, and showcases consistently good closeouts. He is a stalwart on defense.
All exhibited in this youtube cut of him against the Lakers, where he shows a full array of defensive skill sets against the likes of Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, and Lebron James:
Watch any Rockets game, and Tate's defense will jump out.
Offensively, Tate is a career 30% 3pt shooter, but despite that, he is capable of putting up points on offense by backing down smaller players, cutting to the basket, and running in transition.
I don't consider him an offensive liability because he does have the ability to attack closeouts and keep the ball moving. Also, in a better situation than the Rockets, where the players don't compete for shots and instead influence ball movement, Tate would seamlessly fit off-ball on a team with an elite creator.
He isn't a franchise-shifting player like Damian Lillard, but if you are a playoff team with championship aspirations, Tate can be the last piece of your rotation that can sway tightly contested playoff games. My reasoning as to why he will be the best acquisition is that the teams that would most likely trade for Tate will be a team in contention, and Tate's skillset will pay dividends immediately. On a minimum rookie deal with a team option, Tate is the definition of low risk. If you're a team like the Jazz or the Nets, where you need defensive depth against wings if you want to make a deep run, Tate is capable of providing 15-25 healthy minutes against the Derozans and the Bookers of the world. In terms of value, I doubt acquiring Tate would cost more than a future protected first or a few 2nd rock picks. Maybe even a swap of backed end young prospects.
I'm aware he might not actually get traded, which... I guess to make this far-fetched take even more far-fetched. Any playoff team could acquire Tate, and it would be considered a good move. He's that type of player. If I were the Nets, Jazz, or the Clippers, I would seriously consider trading a low future pick and maybe a young prospect to obtain a high energy, defensive difference-maker. Tate is one of my favorite players to watch. Will he change the course of your franchise like Ben Simmons or Domantas Sabonis? Probably not. But can he be the last piece of the rotation of a championship team, hell yea.
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