Houston Rockets: Alperen Sengun’s defending
The only reason Alperen Sengun was available with the 16th pick was because of concerns over his defense. Sengun doesn’t have the physical traits that teams look for in interior or perimeter defenders.
He isn’t incredibly tall, his wingspan is average, and his feet are slow, but that hasn’t mattered. Sengun is averaging 2.5 steals and 1.1 blocks per 36 minutes. His 2.5 steals per 36 minutes is the fourth-best mark in the NBA of players who have played over 200 minutes.
Unfortunately, Sengun’s block numbers are far less impressive. His 1.1 blocks per 36 minutes is only 55th in the league. The lack of blocks has obscured his positional instincts. Sengun leads the Rockets in field goals defended at the rim with 4.4 per game. Opponents are finishing at a 64.5-percent clip, which is slightly better than the league average conversion rate within three feet (67.1-percent).
Sengun won’t be able to have a defense built around him. His ability to protect the rim isn’t poor, but it will never be elite. However, his defense, once a major concern, looks like it will be passable to above average. Sengun's penchant for being in the right place at the right time goes a long way.