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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 Exercise Third-Year Options for Four Players from 2021 Draft Class
Posted: October 30, 2022 -- 8:15 p.m.
Sunday, the Houston Rockets announced they have exercised the third-year options for Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, Usman Garuba and Josh Christopher. All four players are 20 years old.
Green was the second overall pick by Houston in the 2021 NBA Draft. Green is averaging 20.7 points this season after scoring 20-plus points in 17 of the final 25 games in 2021-22 while earning All-Rookie First Team honors. Green is averaging 2.8 3-pointers made on 37.0% shooting this season and is tied for the fourth-most three-point field goals made per game (174) through the first 73 games played of a career.
Sengun was originally the 16th overall pick by Oklahoma City in the 2021 NBA Draft before his rights were acquired by the Rockets. Al-P is averaging 15.3 points per game and 10.3 rebounds per game in four games played this season, up from 9.5 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game as a rookie in 2021-22. Dating back to 1976-77, Sengun is the first player to have recorded at least 60 points and 40 rebounds while playing fewer than 100 minutes through the first four games played in a season.
Garuba was the 23rd overall pick by the Rockets in the 2021 NBA Draft. In 28 career games, he is averaging 7.5 points per game, 12.5 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game, 1.7 steals per game and 1.4 blocks per game per 36 minutes played. This past summer, Garuba helped Spain win the FIBA Euro Basket Championship.
Christopher was the 24th overall pick by Houston in the 2021 NBA Draft. Over the final 18 games of 2021-22, he averaged 11.1 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game, 2.6 assists per game and 1.1 steals per game in 22.6 mpg while shooting 47.8% from the floor. Christopher had the third-most games of recording multiple steals (21) by any rookie last season.
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