Alperen Sengun’s Breakout Season Fails To “Surprise” Rockets GM Rafael Stone: “He’s Improved But…”

Published 12/19/2023, 11:09 AM EST

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While the Houston Rockets have been far from being pushover contenders this season, their new roster, infused with veteran players seems to be working for the rebuilding purposes. The new coaching staff, led by head coach Ime Udoka, is acclimatizing well with the team. This new outlook is indeed designed for winning. The Rockets are using the same starting lineup this year headlined by their young center, Alperen Sengun. He is currently leading the team in both scoring and rebounding, with 19.7 PPG and 9.0 RPG. 

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While Alperen is on a breakout season, Rockets General Manager Rafael Stone thinks he is exactly where they want him to be. 

Is the Rockets GM happy?

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Alperen has improved as a player in his third season with the Rockets. Kelly Iko of The Atlantic asked Rafael Stone if the player’s improvement surprised him. 

This is what Rockets GM said, “I’m very happy with his growth defensively. Offensively, he’s improved, but even defensively, we’re very high on Alperen; we always have been. What I would say is we’re happy with where he’s at, but nothing he’s done this year has particularly surprised me.” 

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While Alperen’s improvement may not particularly surprise the man in charge, Alperen is getting all the national attention, and rightly so. He is one of the early names to watch out for the most improved player.

Can he become an All-Star this season? 

Rockets drafted Alpe in 2021 NBA draft as the #16 overall pick. He quickly started earning recognition for his playmaking skills and many have admired him as Baby Jokic. Alperen dramatically showed improvement in his scoring, going from 9.6 per game in his debut season to 14.8 points per game. He is on a massive leap this season and why not? Before this season, he set out some serious goals for himself. To be an All-Star.

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“Of course, like everyone else, my goal is to become an All-Star,” Sengun said in an interview. “I hope I can do that.” The big picture for the Rockets is still the championship trophy, not individual accolades, who are currently at the 9th seed in the Western Conference.

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Will Alperen be voted for the All-Star selection coming up in the Feburary 2024? Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by:

Chetan Kumar

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Chetan is an NBA content writer at Essentially Sports. Being an active basketball player since his school days, he has always been a dedicated follower of the NBA. His passion for the game has drove him to pursue a career in sports journalism.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja

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