What Sengun accomplished this season as an 18-year-old was nothing short of amazing. The 6-foot-10 center/power forward tore up the Turkish BSL, a high-level league. Playing for Besiktas in 34 BSL games and three FIBA EuroCup contests, he averaged 19.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2.9 combined steals and blocks per game. He made 63.2 percent of his shots from the floor, and finished the season with a PER of 30.9, far higher than any other international draft prospect. For his efforts, he was named the Turkish BSL MVP.
Having only one legitimate big man on the roster, the Houston Rockets used the 16th overall selection on Sengun. The pick, acquired from Oklahoma City, was not cheap, as the Thunder received the Pistons’ 2022 first-round pick (top-16 protected) and the Wizards’ 2023 first-round pick (top-14 protected). So far, Sengun appears well worth the cost. In four Summer League contests, the 19-year-old averaged 14.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 3.0 blocks per game, with shooting splits of .432/.375/.607.
|Position:||Center/Power Forward||Team/Class:||Besiktas (Turkish BSL)|
|Shot Hand:||Right||Stats:||Click here|
Sengun is a mobile big, who does most of his damage in or near the paint. He is listed at 243 pounds, but appears to be on the lanky side. He is confident, physical, and aggressive, and features great quickness (foot work) in the post. The young Turk is very adept with spin moves and up-and-unders, and is a threat to put the ball on the floor from outside the paint. The vast majority of his possessions come from ways that one would expect from a traditional big — post-ups, pick-and-roll plays (rolls and pops), put-backs, and cuts accounted for nearly 72 percent of his offense this past season, and on these types of plays, his percentiles for points per possession (PPP) ranged from 74th on cuts to 97th on put-backs.
The concern, of course, is that the old-school centers rarely thrive in the NBA these days. Sengun attempted just 43 jump shots this season, making just 10 (23.3%). Of those shots, 35 were 3-points attempts, and he made just seven (20%). His shot is slow and mechanical, and as a result, more than half (22) of his attempts were unguarded off the catch. On the plus side, he attempted 243 foul shots on the season, and converted more than 79 percent.
Another concern is Sengun’s play on the defensive end, which is a bit of a mixed bag. His effort is inconsistent, and he is often late to close out or rotate. When encountering switching situations, he consistently resorts to drop coverage. He also lacks lateral quickness, and is very vulnerable against guards and wings. On the positive side, he does have good straight-line speed for a big, and he makes a number of impact plays (steals and blocks). He also can be very effective as a rim protector, frequently rejecting opponents who drive into the paint.
- A gifted offensive player in and around the paint; this season among international players, ranked at the 97th percentile for overall PPP, and had a field-goal percentage of 63.2.
- Excellent rebounder; in the Turkish BSL, ranked fifth in rebounding percentage (20.7) and second in offensive rebounding percentage (18.1).
- Transition threat — can lead the break and is an excellent finisher; ranked at the 87th percentile for PPP in transition.
- Capable driver — has deceptive speed, uses pump fakes effectively, and able to attack the basket from outside the paint; ranked at the 98th percentile for PPP in isolation.
- Productive from the foul line — gets to the FT line often (6.6 FTA per game) and converts (79.4%).
- Underrated passer — displays creativity and averaged 2.7 assists per game, with an A/T of 1.11.
- A rim protector, who makes impact plays on defense, averaging 4.1 combined steals and blocks per 40 minutes.
- Has a great deal of upside — very young, confident, and very successful as a pro at a high level.
- Poor jump shooter, showing little ability to make shots off the bounce or off the catch when guarded (combined 4-of-19 for 21%).
- A potential defensive liability on the perimeter and vs. screen action; ranked at the 41st percentile for PPP allowed this season.
- Turnover prone — ranked 116th in the Turkish BSL with a TO% of 15.5.
- “Pushes the envelope” in terms of the rules of the game, and is foul prone, averaging 3.1 per game.
- Not NBA ready — a perfect player for FIBA basketball, but may need a lot of time to adjust to the NBA game.
Sources, Credits, and Acknowledgements
Stats used in our scouting reports come from Synergy Sports Technology, RealGM.com, and Sports-Reference.com. Other outside sources are noted with links to the source. Click here to see the statistical abbreviation key.