Rockets’ Alperen Sengun Could Return This Season

According to NBA insider Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Houston Rockets big man Alperen Sengun could return this season. 

NBA, Houston Rockets, Alperen Sengun
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Sengun is recovering from a Grade 3 right ankle sprain.

The Rockets are on a nine-game winning streak. They are now only a half-game back of the Golden State Warriors for the 10th spot in the Western Conference standings. 

Seeds 1-6 automatically qualify for the 2024 playoffs, while seeds 7-10 compete in the play-in tournament. 

Sengun is averaging 21.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists this season while shooting 53.7% from the field, 29.7% from beyond the arc and 69.3% from the free-throw line. He has 29 double-doubles and two triple-doubles in 63 games. 

The Rockets can sign Sengun to a rookie-scale extension this summer. All signs point toward that happening. 

Sengun has career averages of 14.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists. He was the 16th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. 

NBA reporter Kelly Iko of The Athletic recently spoke to Rockets head coach Ime Udoka and multiple players about Sengun, who firmly established himself as one of the top players in the league this season. 

“The talent level is real,” Udoka said. “It’s what you see on film and play against, and he’s taken a step as far as that. Competitiveness and going up against specific matchups right from day one. I think he’s improved defensively across the board, some of the things and challenges we’ve presented him with. He’s not even close to reaching his ceiling and has a ways to go, but he’s had a great year, and his future is bright.”

“It’s not like one thing,” Rockets guard and NBA champion Fred VanVleet said. “Just getting to know his personality on and off the court. A lot of times, who you are as a person kind of shines through your game. When you watch somebody from afar, you kind of see it but then when you get to know them, it makes sense. I see him coming with the full-length mink coats and all of that, he got that flair to him. He got swag to him, it’s more Euro than anything, but it’s been good to build a relationship with him. He’s a great dude and just wants to be great. Learning that part about him has been fun for me.”

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