Houston Rockets: What’s Alperen Sengun ceiling?

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Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets, Precious Achiuwa
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Houston Rockets: Alperen Sengun’s scoring

Let’s ignore Sengun’s current per-game stats and instead focus on his per 36-minute statistics to gauge where he is right now. On a per 36 minute basis, Sengun is averaging 17.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2.5 steals, and 1.1 blocks. He’s gotten his points on 47.1-percent shooting from the field and 37.5-percent shooting from 3-point range. 

Sengun’s 17.2 points per 36 minutes lead all NBA teenagers. While teenagers make up an incredibly small percentage of the NBA, it illustrates just how rare it is for a player as young as Sengun to be this productive. 

Sengun’s 3-point shooting efficiency (37.5-percent) won’t continue. He’s only shooting 66.7-percent from the free-throw line, which is a good indicator that his jump shot still has a ways to go. He may one day develop a credible 3-point shot, but it’s probably a few seasons away.

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Sengun’s poor free-throw shooting might mean that his jumper isn’t NBA ready, but the amount he is getting to the line portends star-level upside. 

Sengun is averaging 7.6 free throw attempts per 36 minutes to go along with a free throw rate of .635 (free throw rate is the number of free throw attempts per field goal attempts). As a rookie, his per 36 minutes free throw attempts is sixth-best in the league, and his free throw rate, of players who have played more than 100 minutes, is fifth-best. 

Getting to the free-throw line is the hallmark of just about every elite scorer. Of the top-20 players in free throw attempts per game, just four are averaging under 20 points per game. The early indication is that Sengun will be a 20 points per game scorer at the bare minimum.