With the NBA's trade season rolling around, the Denver Nuggets may be in the market for some added depth at the forward spot. Denver saw Vlatko Cancar go down this summer with a torn ACL and could use an extra hand filling his minutes.
As part of a recent article for Bleacher Report, Zach Buckley listed a few potential targets for the Nuggets. Amongst them was Houston Rockets forward Jae'Sean Tate.
"The Nuggets could use a do-it-all connector on the bench mob to fill the role previously held by Bruce Brown and presumably expected to be handled this season by Vlatko Čančar, who tore his ACL in August," Buckley explained. "Tate could be tremendous in that spot, assuming the ahead-of-schedule Rockets would let him go."
Would it make sense for the Denver Nuggets to trade for Jae'Sean Tate?
Buckley raises an interesting point. Tate, now in his fourth NBA season, has played a career-low 18.5 minutes per game for the Rockets. That's over 10 fewer than he averaged in his rookie season, when he was named to the NBA's All-Rookie first team.
Houston has taken a bit of a jump this season. They currently sit ninth in the Western Conference with a record of 16-15. To put it in perspective, the Rockets won just 22 games for the entirety of the 2022-23 NBA season.
They've found some success and they've done it without giving Tate a ton of run. Sure, he's still getting minutes, but he's nowhere near as important to their rotation as he used to be. With that being said, it wouldn't be shocking if the Rockets were willing to get rid of him.
If the Nuggets were interested in swinging a deal for the 28-year-old, they'd have to put together $6.5 million in salary. They could get there by packaging a few of their end of the bench guys together. Also, they'd probably have to throw in a second-round pick or two.
On the season, Tate is averaging 5.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 49.2% from the field and 31.9% from beyond the arc.