Kings' Tate builds case for NBA call-up

Matt Encarnacion
Jae'sean Tate (r) banked 20 points, seven rebounds, and three assists in Kings' win over the 36ers

Sydney import Jae'Sean Tate continues to build his case for an NBA call-up after leading the Kings to a stabilising 91-77 NBL romp of Adelaide.

Tate produced yet another versatile statline on Saturday night, racking up 20 points, seven rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals in the win.

The outing came less than a week after again leading the Kings with 23 points and six boards in their disappointing loss to last-placed Illawarra.

Tate is averaging 15.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals a game.

The only other players in the league putting up those numbers are Illawarra star LaMelo Ball and Melbourne United captain Mitch Creek.

One is an NBA lottery prospect and the other is a former NBA player and this season's runaway MVP favourite.

However, the most impressive part of Tate's game has been his efficiency, with the American connecting on 66 per cent of his average nine shots attempts.

No other player in the competition is shooting over 55 per cent on as many looks.

It was only last month that Sydney coach Will Weaver predicted Tate could be stolen by an NBA franchise as soon as the NBL season wraps up.

"It's scary, right? I think he's the complete player," Weaver said of Tate's latest play.

"Defends his every possession like it's his last play that he'll ever be a part of. He can switch and go defend one through five.

"He is mentally tough and physically tough and he cares more about successful possessions offensively than anything else.

"And he's happy to do whatever - drive, or post, or pass, or screen, or cut - needs to make that happen.

"And the opportunity for us to have people like Jae'Sean in our program is at the very core of what we're trying to do long term."

Tate, an undersized power forward who was a college teammate of NBA All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell at Ohio State, went undrafted in the 2018 draft.

He then played in Belgium before making the move to Australia, where he has become an instant fan favourite with his athletic displays.

The 24-year-old again wowed the Qudos Bank Arena crowd against the Sixers with a jaw-dropping tomahawk jam in the first quarter.

Tate paid tribute to his teammates and the coaching staff for setting him up for his success in Australia so far.

"They just put me in the right spots to you know, do what I do," he said.

"Last game, I didn't shoot the ball well and the guys are still backing me, coach is still backing me to be confident."