Jae'Sean Tate

Rockets Notes: Porter, Silas, Theis, Wood, Tate, Gordon

Third-year guard Kevin Porter Jr., who dealt with off-court issues early in his NBA career, said earlier this week that the Rockets “saved my life” and “picked me up when I was down.” Head coach Stephen Silas isn’t taking those words lightly, telling reporters on Tuesday that it means a lot to him to develop such important relationships with players, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

“It means everything,” Silas said. “That’s why you coach. For the stories, for the guys who maybe aren’t given a shot or feel like they are not able to have the opportunity they deserve. Hopefully, I can put … him in a position where he can be as successful as he can possibly be, whatever it is.”

Silas only has one year of experience as a head coach under his belt, but showed during his years as an assistant coach that he was capable of making those connections with his players, according to Rockets guard D.J. Augustin.

“Steve’s always been like that,” Augustin said, per Feigen. “I was with Steve in Charlotte when he was an assistant. He’s always been a great people person. Some coaches, they’re not good with communicating with players off the court. Steve is that guy who has the ability to kind of connect with players, especially with younger guys.”

Here’s more on the Rockets:

Southwest Notes: Tate, Hernangomez, Hayes, Pelicans

Jae’Sean Tate wants to reward the Rockets‘ faith in him after they decided to guarantee his contract for the upcoming season, tweets Mark Berman of Fox 26. Tate, who played two years overseas before coming to the NBA, will make about $1.52MM.

Tate was an All-Rookie First Team selection, averaging 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 70 games. He quickly established himself as a starter and was one of the few bright spots in a difficult season for Houston. The Rockets will have a $1.78MM team option on Tate for 2022/23.

“I’ve been working really hard this summer and my whole goal is just to prove (general manager) Rafael (Stone), (executive) Patrick and (owner) Tillman (Fertitta) right,” Tate said. “That they did the right thing guaranteeing those contracts. I think that’ll show this year.” (Twitter link)

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • It doesn’t appear that Juan Hernangomez, who was acquired from the Timberwolves this week, will have a future with the Grizzlies. ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweeted on Saturday that Hernangomez wasn’t asked to report to the team or take a physical, just like Rajon Rondo, who is now a free agent after reaching a buyout agreement with Memphis. Hernangomez has two years and $14.3MM left on his contract, although the final year doesn’t become guaranteed until June 20, 2022, notes Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.
  • Body camera footage has been released from the arrest of Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes in Los Angeles last month, per Christian Clark of NOLA.com. Hayes had an altercation with police after the incident, which he said stemmed from a fight with a girlfriend. He was treated at a hospital for minor injuries and charged with resisting arrest.
  • The Pelicans received $1.2MM in the sign-and-trade deal that sent Lonzo Ball to the Bulls, tweets Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

Rockets Guarantee Jae’Sean Tate’s 2021/22 Salary

The Rockets have guaranteed Jae’Sean Tate‘s salary for the 2021/22 season, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Tate will earn approximately $1.52MM next season.

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.

The Rockets have also officially signed David Nwaba, Feigen reports.

Ball, Edwards, Haliburton Head All-Rookie Team

LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, Jae’Sean Tate and Saddiq Bey comprised this year’s All-Rookie First Team, the NBA announced on Thursday in a press release.

Ball, who was named Rookie of the Year on Thursday, led first-year NBA players in assists (6.1 APG) and steals (1.59 SPG) and ranked second in scoring (15.7 PPG) and rebounding (5.9 RPG) for the Hornets. Edwards, the No. 1 pick in the draft by the Timberwolves, averaged a rookie-high 19.3 PPG.

The Kings’ Haliburton ranked third among rookies in scoring (13.0 PPG) and second in assists (5.3 APG). Bey, the 19th overall pick, made a rookie-high 175 three-pointers for the Pistons. Tate, who went undrafted in 2018 and played in Australia last season, averaged 11.3 PPG and 5.3 PPG for the Rockets.

Ball and Edwards were the only unanimous First Team selections, receiving 99 of 99 potential First Team votes. Haliburton got 98, while Bey had 63 and Tate received 57.

Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley narrowly missed out on the top five, having earned 51 votes for the First Team.

Here are both All-Rookie teams in full, with their voting point totals notes in parentheses. Players received two points for a First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote.

2020/21 All-Rookie First Team:

2020/21 All-Rookie Second Team:

Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo (42), Magic guard Cole Anthony (40), and Warriors center James Wiseman (24) were among the players who just missed the cut. Nine other players received votes — you can view the full voting results right here.

Rockets Notes: Injuries, Thomas, Reynolds, Tate, Brooks

As has been the case for much of the 2020/21 season, the Rockets have a crowded injury report today, with 10 of the team’s players having been ruled out for the regular season finale in Atlanta.

However, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (via Twitter), none of those 10 players are dealing with long-term injuries that will hinder their ability to conduct offseason training or participate in Summer League games.

That includes Khyri Thomas, who underwent an MRI this weekend after he “tweaked” his Achilles on Friday (Twitter link via Feigen). According to head coach Stephen Silas, that Achilles injury isn’t severe, which bodes well for Thomas and the Rockets — the young swingman just signed a four-year contract with the team on Friday.

Here’s more out of Houston:

  • Cameron Reynolds will only spend three days (two games) with the Rockets before his rest-of-season contract expires, but even that brief stint with his hometown team means a lot to the Pearland, Texas native, as Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston relays. “I’ll never forget this,” Reynolds said, adding that several family members were in attendance to watch him on Friday. “I’ll never forget being able to play for the Houston Rockets. This is huge for me.”
  • After going undrafted in 2018, Jae’Sean Tate played for a new team in each of his first three professional seasons, so he’s especially appreciative of being able to enter the 2021 offseason knowing he’ll remain under contract with the Rockets and won’t have to find a new home. “It’s kind of surreal,” Tate said, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “This is what I’ve been dreaming of. This is what I’ve been working so hard for, to come in on the back end of my first year. It went by so fast; I feel I just walked into training camp. Also, it just makes me hungrier because I know there are so many things I can work on and get better at.”
  • Armoni Brooks, who went undrafted in 2019, didn’t make his NBA debut until last month, but he has played big minutes (25.6 MPG) for an injury-ravaged Rockets team and his 54 three-pointers are the most ever by any NBA player through the first 19 games of his career. In a separate Houston Chronicle story, Feigen looks at what’s next for Brooks, who is shifting his focus to summer workouts.

Health Updates: A. Davis, J. Brown, Rockets, Tate

Already playing without primary ball-handlers LeBron James and Dennis Schröder, the Lakers lost another one of their top scorers during Thursday’s loss to the Clippers, when Anthony Davis exited due to back spasms.

As Dave McMenamin of ESPN details, Davis left Thursday’s game in the first quarter and didn’t return. The Lakers’ All-Star big man also tweaked his right ankle, though he said his back injury was the issue that knocked him out of the game.

The Lakers have a crucial game on tap for Friday night in Portland — the two teams are tied in the standings for No. 6 in the West, and have split their two games so far this season. The winner of tonight’s game will earn the end-of-season tiebreaker and will be in great position to avoid the play-in tournament, so L.A. would love to have Davis available.

According to McMenamin, Davis said late on Thursday night that he anticipates being able to suit up against the Blazers in what he called “probably the biggest game” left on the schedule. He’s listed on the latest injury report as probable.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Celtics wing Jaylen Brown, who missed Wednesday’s game with a right ankle sprain, will also be out on Friday. However, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said during a radio appearance that he thinks Brown will be back for Sunday’s game vs. Miami (Twitter link via Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston).
  • The Rockets have a whopping 13 players on their injury report for Friday’s contest in Milwaukee, writes Danielle Lerner of The Houston Chronicle. Kevin Porter Jr. (ankle) and Avery Bradley (personal) are among nine players who have been ruled out. And, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle points out (via Twitter), the four players not on the injury report have made 10 combined NBA starts.
  • The Rockets did get one piece of good news today, as Feigen tweets that Jae’Sean Tate has cleared the health and safety protocols. Tate registered a false positive for COVID-19, followed by three negative tests. However, he’s still listed as questionable for Friday’s game due to a left knee contusion.

Southwest Notes: Hardaway, Ball, Tate, Louzada, Porzingis

Tim Hardaway Jr. has been improving his free agent stock with some high-level offensive performances in recent games. The Mavericks guard erupted for 42 points against Detroit last week and tore up Miami’s defense for 36 points on Wednesday, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News notes. He drained a franchise record-tying 10 three-pointers against the Heat. “When you have been hot like that, had it going, you’re not really focused on any records or anything like that,” said Hardaway, who will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. “The game was just coming to me.”

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball tied his career best with 33 points against Golden State on Tuesday, bouncing back from a 3-for-18 shooting performance the previous game. He vowed to franchise player Zion Williamson in a text message that he wouldn’t have two bad outings in a row, according to ESPN’s Andrew Lopez. “I’m glad he’s my teammate,” Williamson said. “You love to have teammates like that can say stuff like that and come the next day and show out. He just wants to win.” Williamson’s “love” for Ball could be a factor in how aggressive the franchise is willing to be in retaining the point guard as a restricted free agent this summer.
  • The Rockets, who already have numerous players sitting out, added another one to the inactive list when forward Jae’Sean Tate was placed under the league’s health and safety protocols, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. The undrafted rookie has appeared in 65 games, including 53 starts, averaging 11.2 PPG and 5.4 RPG.
  • Didi Louzada has finally completed the work visa process and joined the Pelicans, Will Guillory of The Athletic tweets. New Orleans officially signed the draft-and-stash prospect on April 27. The Brazilian signed a multiyear contract after playing in Australia this season. He’ll be available to play on Friday, Lopez tweets.
  • Kristaps Porzingis is making progress from his sore right knee and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle expects him to return before the postseason, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets“I anticipate that he will play regular-season games at some point, but I don’t know when,” Carlisle said. The big man has been out since April 29.

Rockets Rumors: Oladipo, Tucker, Gordon, More

With the Rockets in the midst of a 13-game losing streak and their playoff chances dwindling, people around the NBA are wondering if general manager Rafael Stone will launch a full-scale rebuild this month in what could be a seller’s market, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

One rival scout told Fischer that he keeps hearing the Rockets will hold a “fire sale” prior to this year’s deadline, while an assistant general manager predicted that the club will “burn the house down.” Another assistant GM told Bleacher Report that Houston has been starting to call teams about deals.

The Rockets haven’t had a sub-.500 season since 2005/06 and it’s unclear whether team owner Tilman Fertitta would have the patience for a multiyear rebuild. As Fischer explains, Houston still had playoff aspirations when it traded James Harden to Brooklyn in January — the decision to flip Caris LeVert for Victor Oladipo in that blockbuster deal was made in part due to the club’s belief that Oladipo would make more of an impact in the postseason race.

However, the Rockets also have incentive not to try to fight their way back up the standings, as their first-round pick will be swapped with either the Thunder’s or Heat’s pick (whichever is worse) if it doesn’t land in the top four. Even a last-place finish won’t guarantee that the Rockets hang onto their own first-rounder, but the lower they finish, the better their odds are of hanging onto a top pick that could help them secure a long-term franchise cornerstone.

Here’s more on the Rockets:

  • Fischer suggests that if the Rockets hang onto Oladipo through the trade deadline, a sign-and-trade deal in the offseason appears to be the most likely outcome. “They’re too smart to just whiff and get nothing off of him,” a Western Conference official said. Still, getting anything of value in a sign-and-trade would hinge on Oladipo wanting to join a team that doesn’t have the cap room available to sign him outright.
  • The Sixers are on a long list of potential suitors for P.J. Tucker, according to Fischer, who says the veteran forward would welcome the opportunity to join a 76ers team led by former Rockets GM Daryl Morey. League sources tell Bleacher Report that Houston could’ve gotten a late first-round pick from the Timberwolves in the 2020 draft for Tucker, but the team will be hard-pressed to get that strong a return now, since the 35-year-old has had a down year. “If they had a first for him now, he’d already be gone,” one GM said.
  • Fischer adds that there has been a “long-whispered rumor” that the Nets and Rockets could make a swap involving Tucker and Spencer Dinwiddie. According to Fischer, wherever Tucker ends up, he’ll be looking for one last lucrative contract in the offseason, having turned down a two-year extension from the Rockets earlier in the season.
  • There’s little expectation that the Rockets will trade Eric Gordon, sources tell Fischer. However, clubs may target some of the team’s other, more affordable wings, including Sterling Brown, Danuel House, Ben McLemore, and Jae’Sean Tate.

Southwest Notes: Green, Tate, Rockets, Grizzlies

The Mavericks announced today (via Twitter) that they are sending rookie shooting guard Josh Green to join the Salt Lake City Stars, the G League affiliate of the Jazz, in the NBAGL’s ongoing Orlando “bubble” campus.

Dallas’s own G League affiliate, the Texas Legends, is not participating in this year’s G League season. Green started in five games for the Mavericks earlier this season, but has been riding the bench recently. He is averaging 12.5 MPG across 17 contests.

There’s more out of the Southwest:

  • Rookie Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate has proven to be Houston’s iron man this season, the only player to suit up for every game after P.J. Tucker sat with a bruised thigh, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Tate has been an important element of the Rockets’ frontcourt given the recent injuries to Christian Wood, Tucker, and Ray Spalding.
  • Long-injured young Grizzlies players Jaren Jackson Jr. and Justise Winslow have joined their teammates in portions of practice, according to Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Jackson is recovering from a torn left meniscus and Winslow is working his way back from a left hip displacement.
  • Despite severe winter weather in Texas, the Rockets still intend to return to Houston ahead of their scheduled contests on Friday (against the Mavericks) and Saturday (against the Pacers), according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. There is a chance these games are ultimately postponed as a result of continuing water and power trouble in Texas, Feigen notes. “If playing basketball games makes sense we will,” head coach Stephen Silas said about the situation. “If it doesn’t, Houstonians are most important and the thing that we should all be thinking about as we go home.”

Several Rockets Could Miss Opener Due To Contact Tracing

12:51pm: KJ Martin is now listed on the Rockets’ injury report as self-isolating and not with the team, tweets MacMahon. The contact tracing is related to Martin’s test results, Wojnarowski confirms (via Twitter).

As Woj explains (via Twitter), a group of Rockets players, including Martin, Wall, and Cousins, were away from the team facility at an apartment getting haircuts. Since Martin tested positive, contact tracing is required for others who were there – including Wall and Cousins – as the team waits for confirmation on Martin’s test result.

Wall and Cousins have both tested negative, Woj adds (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Jae’Sean Tate has also been sent home for contact tracing, tweets MacMahon.


12:25pm: Wall tested negative for the coronavirus but is among a group of Rockets sent home because a teammate tested positive, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter links). Woj adds that Ben McLemore tested positive for COVID-19 a few days ago but has been in isolation and isn’t the player whose positive test initiated today’s contact tracing.

Meanwhile, Sam Amick of The Athletic clarifies (via Twitter) that the contact tracing isn’t tied to Harden, while Tim Bontemps of ESPN tweets that the Thunder haven’t received any communication from the NBA about the status of tonight’s game.


11:47am: Several Rockets players are expected to miss the season opener tonight because of COVID-19 contact tracing, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Charania mentions John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins and says other players could also be affected.

Although Charania doesn’t specify, the action could be related to an investigation into James Harden‘s apparent visit to a strip club. NBA officials are examining a video on social media to determine if it was recent, making it a violation of the league’s health and safety protocols.

Harden published – and later deleted – an Instagram story claiming that the video in question wasn’t from a strip club, but it would still be a violation of the NBA’s protocols, which prohibit players from visiting bars, lounges, and clubs, notes Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter links).

Information on who else will miss tonight’s game against the Thunder should become available later today, but the news delays a return for two players who have been sidelined with major injuries. Wall hasn’t played in two years because of a ruptured Achilles tendon, while Cousins sat out all of last season with a torn ACL in his left knee.