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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Rockets Acquire Four Players in 2021 NBA Draft

POSTED: July 30, 2021 -- 1:50 a.m. CT

In addition to guard Jalen Green, who was the second overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Houston Rockets acquired forward/center Alperen Sengun [al-pah-ron shen-gün], forward Usman Garuba [oose-mon gah-ROO-bah], and guard Josh Christopher. All four players were chosen within the first 24 picks of the draft.

Sengun (6'9", 235), was the 16th overall pick by Oklahoma City before his rights were acquired by Houston in exchange for two future first round picks owed to the Rockets via Detroit and Washington. The native of Turkey recently turned 19 years old and was the Turkish Super League MVP this past season for his club, Besiktas.

In 34 league games, Sengun averaged 18.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.5 blocks, and 1.3 steals while shooting 62.6% from the floor and 81.2% from the foul line. Sengun also averaged 23.0 points per game on 71.0% shooting in three FIBA Europe Cup games and played for the Turkish national team during Olympic qualifying this summer.

Garuba (6'8", 220), was the 23rd overall pick by Houston and is currently playing for Spain in the Olympics. Garuba spent last season with Real Madrid in Spain's Liga ACB and was the recipient of the ACB Best Young Player award along with being named the EuroLeague Rising Star, recognizing the top player under the age of 22.

Including their run to the ACB championship game, Real Madrid posted a 38-5 mark, with Garuba averaging 5.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game. During the EuroLeague playoffs, Garuba became the youngest player to record a double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds vs. Anadolu Efes.

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Christopher (6'5", 215) was the 24th overall pick by Houston following his freshman season at Arizona State. Christopher appeared in 15 games for the Sun Devils, averaging 14.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.5 steals. He scored 28 points in his second career game vs. Villanova and posted 22 points with 11 rebounds against UCLA, which went onto play in the Final Four. A McDonald's All-American, Christopher averaged 29.4 points and 11.2 rebounds as a senior at Mayfair High School in California.

All four of the players Houston acquired in the draft will be 19 years old at the start of the 2021-22 NBA season.

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