The Houston Rockets have quickly assembled one of the league’s most exciting young cores, and NBA veterans are taking notice. Alex Caruso, NBA Champion with the 2020 Los Angeles Lakers, is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. With him on the court, the Bulls posted a defensive rating of 108.1, and without him, it ballooned to 116.8.
Needless to say, Caruso is one of the best in the business on the defensive end, which gives extra weight to his comments on J.J. Reddick’s podcast “The Old Man and the Three.”
When asked which young core he was most interested to watch this season, his mind went straight to H-Town.
"“You know who I’m really interested to see? Is some of the Rockets guys. You know, Kevin Porter, Jalen Green, Josh Christopher, and the big man. I can’t remember his name, the big foreign kid that was like the MVP of the Turkish League, [he] came in last year and had a couple of highlights” "
The name that Caruso is forgetting is Alperen Sengun, and a couple of highlights sell the precocious Turk short. Caruso also only mentioned Rockets that played last season. With the way Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Eason played in Summer League, Caruso may have to add a few more names to his list.
He wasn’t done complimenting the Rockets' youth movement. Caruso told Reddick what he wanted to see from the group this season and finished with one of the highest compliments that can be paid.
"“I feel like they were just so young and so immature they didn’t know what they were doing and like that was fine with the organization. I’m really interested to see if they make next steps and understand the game and see what winning is about, because they have all the talent in the world.”"
Alex Caruso knows a thing or two about talent. He’s played next to LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Zach Lavine, DeMar DeRozan, and Brandon Ingram and is routinely matched up with the best scorers in the world. If he believes unprompted that Porter, Green, Christopher, and Sengun have all the talent in the world, then it’s a compliment worth taking seriously.