There hasn’t been much for the Houston Rockets to smile about over the past couple of seasons as they’ve endured some bad basketball and lottery finishes. But one strong development has been the emergence of second-year center Alperen Sengun. Sengun has arguably become the Rockets best player and he already has some dazzling accomplishments on the court this season. During the Rockets game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, Sengun channeled his inner Nikola Jokic and dished out a jaw-dropping no-look, behind-the-back pass to a cutting Jae’Sean Tate who scored the easy bucket.

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Alperen Sengun has taken a huge leap from his rookie year last season. He was solid last season to the tune of 9.6 points per game, 5.5 rebound and 2.6 assists while shooting 47.4 percent from the field albeit only 24.8 percent from the three-point line. This season, his numbers have improved across the board. He is putting up 15.5 points, 8.9 rebounds 3.6 assists and 1.0 blocked shots while shooting 57.5 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from the three-point line. While the Rockets have some quality young players in Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr. and Jabari Smith Jr., Sengun is looking more like a potential franchise building block.

The 16th overall pick in the 2021 draft, Sengun is a versatile big man. He is able to score in the post and has advanced footwork to match an array of moves. He is able to step out and shoot at times but he doesn’t not force it and does not stray too far from the paint. He is becoming a very good passer for a big man as evidenced by his jaw-dropping assists.