As the Houston Rockets look towards the future, one name should be at the forefront of their strategy: Alperen Sengun. His steady improvement from year one to year two has not gone unnoticed and positions him as a valuable asset worth investing in.
With recent examples of similar big men like Domantas Sabonis and Nikola Jokic being pivotal players for their respective playoff teams, it's time the Rockets seriously consider building their future around Sengun.
In a recent podcast, Alperen Sengun revealed he has bulked up, now weighing in at a solid 264 pounds. Perhaps even more impressively, he’s also grown half an inch over the past year, taking him from 6'11" to 6'11.5".
This additional height and increased physicality can further amplify his presence on the court, making him an even more daunting opponent for rival teams.
The success of big men like Sabonis and Jokic provides a blueprint for Sengun’s potential. These players have not only established themselves as top big men in the league but have also shown the ability to facilitate the game through their excellent playmaking skills. If Sengun can emulate these qualities, he could very well become the centerpiece of the Rockets' team, driving them to future playoff success.
Sengun's development will be further aided by the recent appointment of Ime Udoka as coach. Udoka's reputation for pushing his players and demanding the best from them aligns perfectly with Sengun's desire for a challenging coaching style. This new coaching relationship could be a transformative factor in Sengun's growth, as he felt this aspect was missing under the previous coach, Stephen Silas.
Sengun's awareness of his need to improve defensively is another positive sign. His dedication to off-season training, focusing on strength and conditioning, shows a maturity beyond his years. This work ethic, combined with his natural talent, could lead to significant leaps in his defensive performance, adding another dimension to his game.
Prioritizing his development and building the team around him could potentially lead the Rockets to a future of success similar to that enjoyed by teams with players like Sabonis and Jokic. With a new coach who matches his drive, an intense off-season training regimen, and a clear understanding of his development areas, Sengun is set to become a major figure in the Rockets' future. Houston, be ready; the Sengun era is coming.