Kings import Tate key to hot NBL start

Jae'sean Tate produced a 24-point, eight-rebound displayfor the Kings in the NBL win over Phoenix

Sydney Kings coach Will Weaver continues to reap the benefits of bringing Jae'Sean Tate to the club after a favourable comparison to Aussie star Mitch Creek helped seal the deal.

The 23-year-old American has become a cult hero in the harbour city with his versatility and energetic style of play complimenting a stacked roster boasting talents such as Casper Ware and Andrew Bogut.

Entering Saturday's clash with the South East Melbourne Phoenix with averages of 15 points and six assists per game, the 193cm small forward played a crucial role in the Kings' narrow victory with a series of key fourth-quarter plays.

"There is a reason why we've got NBA scouts in our gym, beyond the fact that they're looking at some of those youngsters," Weaver said following Tate's 24-point, eight-rebound performance in Sydney's 90-86 win at Melbourne Arena.

Tate's composure in the closing stages helped Sydney claim their fourth victory in a row as they improved to a league-best 10-1 win-loss record.

The Kings led by 20 points but a stirring Phoenix comeback saw them take a one-point lead in the final minute before Tate and Ware put Sydney back on top for good.

"There were lots of moments where I felt like his teammates were looking for him on the offensive end and this dude's switching onto every kind of player in the league (on defence)," Weaver said about Tate's impact on the Kings.

"I think he did an amazing job of that tonight and has for most of the year."

Tate's matchup with Creek was one of the highlights of the contest, Weaver heaping praise on the Phoenix's marquee man.

"I've gone on record that I think he's an NBA player," Weaver said, having coached Creek at the Long Island Nets in the NBA's G-League last season, along with the Australian national team in his role as an assistant.

"I think he'll play in the NBA as soon as the season ends, he'll be on ten-day (contracts)."

Weaver went on to reveal that his respect for Creek's game played a part in Tate's recruitment to the Kings.

"The moment I went from interested in Jae'Sean to desperate to sign Jae'Sean was when Shannon Scott, his old Ohio State teammate, who played with Mitch last year in Long Island told me 'oh yeah, he's Creeky'," he said.

"So I was like fumbling over myself to get it done and Shannon has been proved right based on how this guy is playing."