Jae’Sean Tate out of Ohio State is a sleeper pick in this draft. Tate, a 6-foot-4, 230 pound forward, bounced back in a big way in his last two years after a down first two years in his college career.
He is not projected in any mock drafts yet, but he is a very good defensive player and a very good offensive player. He finishes very well in traffic. He might be a bit undersized in terms of height, but he makes up for it with his great athleticism. He is also a great passer, even in traffic. He has great vision on the court as well.
Tate creates for his teammates very well. He shot a very high percentage from the floor this past season. He has a very high basketball IQ. He also spaces the floor very well, and for a 6’4″ guy, he can rebound the ball very well. He averaged 6.2 rebounds per game this past season.
He is the energy guy NBA teams would love to have, and he labels himself as an energy guy.
“Just a tough guy,” Tate said at the NBA Combine. “I think I can defend one through four, and just bring energy. My whole career at Ohio State, I’ve been that energy guy and a guy who’s going to make tough plays. I’m able to score in the post and take bigger defenders on the drive, so I think that’s going to be my fit.”
He also wants to be a hard-nose defender in the NBA. He reads the floor very well on the defensive end of the floor. He creates havoc on that end of the floor. He averaged 1.1 steals and 0.6 blocks per game this past season. In total, he had 36 steals and 19 blocks on the season.
“I think I’m just going to be one of those tough-nosed defenders, man,” Tate said. “That’s my whole mindset. Go in there and just defend every play, and just whatever the coach needs me to do, that’s what I want to do. I’ve done it at every level. I’m not really a position, have a position, but at every level I found a way to make it work. And I think if a team will just take a chance on me, I can be successful at the next level.”
It may take a couple of years of development, but Tate is a sleeper in this draft. Any team needs an energy guy off the bench. He can be a Marcus Smart type of energy guy, spark plug off the bench. He certainly has the qualities to be that type of player. What makes this kid special is how high of a percentage he shoots on the offensive end. Not many college players shoot 55.7 percent from the floor. The one aspect of his offensive game he needs work on is his three point shooting. It will come overtime. He shot 31.4 percent from three in his this past season.
Tate wants to be a hybrid type of player who can be in small-ball lineups.
“I don’t like to use the comparison but kind of like a Draymond-type guy; like a hybrid, play small ball, able to defend guards and bigger offensive players,” Tate said.
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