C: Alperen Sengun
Many are expecting a Sengun breakout this season as he earns comparisons to Nikola Jokic. The 6’9 big man averaged 3.9 assists in just 28.9 minutes per game last season. He must get his fouling under control to play more, but his unique passing ability and play style intrigues Rockets fans.
Can Sengun hold up on the defensive end on a contending team? His below-average lateral quickness and inability to protect the rim make defending problematic. Teams will try to force switches and get him guarding on the perimeter. Sengun will struggle there, but putting plenty of perimeter defense around him should help mitigate those issues.
Alperen Sengun must become a dominant offensive player and improve his defense to adequate if he wants to remain the starting center as the Rockets attempt to contend. Can he increase his scoring and playmaking numbers as his defense improves? Sengun is only 21 and should keep getting better.
What will the Houston Rockets starting five look like in five years? Does their young core continue to improve and become the building blocks of the franchise? Can they add a star to support them? Better days are ahead for the Rockets, and it will be fascinating to see how it plays out.