As more international players climb the ranks towards NBA superstardom year after year, many are also rising throughout draft boards. One of the main international stars for the 2021 NBA Draft is Alperen Sengün from Turkey. Sengün is ready for the next step in his career after playing professionally since 2018.
Alperen Sengün 2021 NBA Draft Profile
Sengün began his professional career in 2018, playing for Bandırma Kırmızı in the second division of Turkish basketball. He quickly made a name for himself, averaging 10.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He was 16 at the time, and clearly destined for stardom.
The following season, 2019-20, Sengün made his way up to the first division (the Turkish Super League) for Teksüt Bandırma. His playing time went down, of course, as he was acclimating to the top flight of Turkish basketball. He managed to average five points and four rebounds per game in 13 minutes on the floor. Although his production went down, he impressed as a teenager and joined one of Turkey’s top teams in Besiktas at the end of the season.
Sengün has dominated this season with Besiktas. His minutes have jumped up to nearly 29 per game. In that time, Sengün put up averages of 19 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. He’s also shooting an impressive 66 percent from within the three-point line and 81 percent from the free-throw line.
Sengün brings back the more traditional center role, as seen through his play in Turkey. He seems to love playing “bully-ball,” or using his strength and weight to dominate other players. With this in mind, he’s a strong post player and rim defender.
He won’t lead the team as the best player, but he Sengün is still an offensive weapon. He has a very soft touch around the basket, allowing him to score versus other bigs. In addition, he’s great at setting up screens and finding the right time to cut.
Due to his more traditional style of play, Sengün mauy have some early struggles in the modern NBA. Offensively, he doesn’t really stretch the floor and he’s not an athletic rim-runner. He’s a little slower on his feet, so he’s not expected to be a high-flying dunker.
In addition, his slow feet can make him a liability away from the rim on defense. If switched onto a guard, he’ll struggle to keep up. Most centers do, but Sengün lacks the athleticism to at least force the guard to pass away the ball. His vertical can also use some work, although he does stand at 6’10”.
NBA Comparison for Alperen Sengün
Tyler Hansbrough is the top NBA comparison for Sengün in terms of playing style, but Sengün should have a better career. Both have very similar traits, although Sengün uses said traits in a better fashion.
2021 NBA Draft Projection
Sengün projects to go in the mid to late first round. He’s one of the better center prospects, making his most likely range in the 18-25 pick zone.
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