The Houston Rockets’ 2021 NBA Draft was already exciting when they picked Jalen Green at No. 2 overall , but they got even bolder in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder that landed them Turkish center Alperen Sengun.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon had the details of the Rockets-Thunder trade, as they sacrificed two future first-round picks in order to acquire the 19-year-old big man:
Source: Rockets gave up future first-round picks owed by Wizards and Pistons to get No. 16.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) July 30, 2021
This is yet another sign that Oklahoma City has little intention of competing for a title any time soon, as general manager Sam Presti continues stockpiling draft capital to seemingly no end. The Thunder picked Josh Giddey No. 6 overall earlier on Thursday night.
Having established that, it’s not as if Houston is expecting Sengun to contribute right away as a rookie. If he does wind up being a huge hit somewhere down the line, though, Sengun could be an intriguing future piece of the frontcourt alongside Christian Wood.
With professional experience under his belt, it’s encouraging that Sengun was dominant as the Turkish League MVP this past season.
Sengun put up huge numbers during the 2020-21 campaign, with 19.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.7 blocks per contest. Considering he’s 6-foot-10, it’s impressive that Sengun already has a decently filled-out frame, as he’s listed at 240 pounds.
Both the Thunder and Rockets are trying to dig out of the bottom of the Western Conference. Neither team got a lot better in the present with this trade, but OKC and Houston are doing all they can to spark some kind of turnaround soon.