Re-drafting the 2021 NBA Draft — 10. Alperen Sengun, Grizzlies
He was my favorite sleeper on draft night and the Rockets made out like bandits with the 16th pick. Alperen Sengun made immediate waves as a rookie in Houston’s frontcourt, even if foul trouble and inexperience ultimately limited his playing time. The Rockets should make it a priority to unleash Alpy in year two — or, in this case, it’s Memphis who can do the unleashing.
There are valid reservations about Sengun’s future on the defensive end. He’s mostly ground-bound and slightly undersized at 6-foot-9. He fouls a lot (like most rookie bigs) and spent most of his first season getting roasted in space. It’s the offensive talent, however, that makes Sengun so convincingly worthy of top-10 status.
Next to Nikola Jokic, you won’t find many centers with Sengun’s flare for the dramatic when passing the ball. His passes often leave the viewer somewhere between bemused and awe-struck. He’s a silky post scorer with a deep bag of tricks and an excellent sense of how to leverage his strength on the block. He’s even a budding 3-point threat. Add in some remarkable performances on the glass, and Sengun’s profile looks quite good long term. He should be starting in no time.