Tate, 25, had an impressive rookie season for Houston in 2020/21, averaging 11.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 2.5 APG on 50.6% shooting and playing tough defense across 70 games (29.2 MPG). The performance earned him a spot on the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team.
Tate’s second-year salary wasn’t scheduled to become guaranteed until January, per Basketball Insiders. However, as Feigen explains, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta made the decision to lock in the forward’s salary a few months early. The move was designed to reward Tate for his play last season and to send the message that the team values his “determined play and attitude,” Feigen adds.
Tate’s contract extends for one more year beyond 2021/22 — the Rockets have a $1.78MM team option for ’22/23, which seems likely to be eventually exercised.