Pacers Trade For Rockets’ Jae’Sean Tate In Bold Proposal

Jae'Sean Tate, Houston Rockets
NBA Analysis Network

In a given NBA season, every team doesn’t intend to be as competitive as they can. Some people don’t like it, but this is reality. Some teams will be tanking to maximize their lottery odds.

In recent years, perhaps no team has been as synonymous with “tanking” as the Houston Rockets. This year, the tank is over. The Rockets want to compete in 2023-24. That’s why this team spent more in free agency than any other team in the league.

So far, the results have been encouraging. The Rockets have a winning record. The season is young, and the Rockets will take their bumps, but one thing is clear: this is a vastly improved team. 

What do the Rockets need in order to continue improving? Well, they could use a backup big man. Some shooting in their second unit would be useful as well. Meanwhile, the Rockets have a surplus of wings. They could probably spare one if they were getting valuable players in return.

Could they send Jae’Sean Tate to the Indiana Pacers? 

NBA Trade Proposal: Indiana Pacers Land Houston Rockets’ Jae’Sean Tate

Jae'Sean Tate, Houston Rockets, NBA
NBA Analysis Network
Houston Rockets Receive: F/C Jalen Smith, G/F Jordan Nwora
Indiana Pacers Receive: F Jae’Sean Tate, 2024 Second-Round Pick (HOU), 2024 Second-Round Pick (OKC via HOU) 

Should every team seek to compete? Realistically, the answer is still no. As long as the lottery system exists, teams will be incentivized to take advantage of it.

Meanwhile, that’s distinctly the best course of action for some teams. For other teams, this gets a little more complicated. Should they tank, or try to make a run at the playoffs? 

The Pacers are one of those teams. This is a talented group. The Pacers look primed to make a playoff run this year. With that said, they won’t be pursuing an NBA title.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jae’Sean Tate, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers Updates

Moreover, the Pacers are young. If they wanted, they could look towards the future and build a contender around Tyrese Haliburton in a few years. 

It’s a conflict. With that said, for Indiana, it may be a no-brainer. This small market team typically avoids tanking at all costs. Would this deal make them more competitive? 

Why The Indiana Pacers Do The Deal 

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Well, the Pacers do seem to covet a 4. Tate doesn’t strictly play that position – at 6’4, he’s a little bit undersized. Still, his strength and low center of gravity allow him to handle ample minutes in that position.

If the Pacers think they’ve got a rotational hole at that position, Tate could cover it. He should be an upgrade over Obi Toppin. After all, he’s a better defender. He’s likely a better passer as well. The two are comparable as floor spacers – which is to say mediocre at best. That’s fine.

The Pacers can afford to lose some shooting at one spot with Haliburton, Myles Turner, and Buddy Hield on the roster. They should value everything else that Tate brings to the table. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jae’Sean Tate, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers Updates

They should also value a couple of second-round picks. The Rockets are sending out a bit of draft capital because Smith is so much younger than Tate. The Pacers will be happy to collect some assets while taking arguably the best player in this deal at the same time.

Is that really a good deal for the Rockets? 

Why The Houston Rockets Do The Deal 

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NBA Analysis Network

Alperen Sengun has been a huge part of the Rockets’ success so far this season. Frankly, he’s been their best player. There have been doubters about Sengun since he was drafted – concerns about his defense remain – but they are dwindling.

This kid looks like he can be a star player in this league for years to come. Yet, the Rockets are still light on big men. Jock Landale has struggled this year, and Jeff Green is more of a big 4. 

Smith could be the ideal backup. He’s a great weakside shot blocker who could play alongside Sengun. At the same time, he can soak up every minute during which Sengun is resting. This feels like the perfect combo big to take this Rockets team to the next level. Although, it’s worth noting that they could still use some shooting in the second unit. 

Luckily, this deal lands them that as well. Like Tate, Nwora is a wing, but he’s less redundant alongside Jabari Smith Jr., Dillon Brooks, and Tari Eason.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jae’Sean Tate, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers Updates

The Rockets need Nwora’s shooting more than they need Tate’s defense. By now, this team should be operating with a win-now mindset – the Rockets aren’t tanking anymore. 

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