NBA: 4 Superstar big men under 21 who will define this new era for frontcourt players

There's a new era of big men under the age of 21 that will define this new era for frontcourt players in the NBA.

Wemby has proven that he's a generational talent.
Wemby has proven that he's a generational talent. / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages
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Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets have been one of the worst teams in the NBA for the past few seasons. Since the departure of former franchise player James Harden during the 2020-21 season, the team has struggled as they began the rebuilding phase. Now, just four seasons into that rebuild, the Rockets have improved their win total in each season and much of that credit has to be given to Alperen Sengun.

Now in his third season, Sengun gives the Rockets hope that he can become the next great center who will lead them back to the NBA Finals. And it doesn't hurt either that Rockets all-time great and Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon has been training Sengun and who better to learn from than the man who led the franchise to its only two titles?

Olajuwon said that he was, "amazed at how agile and flexible" Sengun was and "how he possessed good footwork for a player at such a young age". He has an array of moves in the paint and can bang down low if he needs to. Sengun can also finish at the rim through contact, and even though he isn't quite as explosive, he has some balance in his step and is strong enough to finish at the basket.

He also has the potential to become one of the better passing big men out of the post and has good ball handling and playmaking skills similar to Nikola Jokic and Domantas Sabonis. There are obvious concerns about him defensively despite him giving an intense effort on that end of the floor. At least with his advanced footwork, Sengun won't be exposed when he is switched onto smaller, quicker guards as bigs with poor footwork are often the ones who get preyed upon.

He is also capable of becoming a decent shot blocker due to his positioning and timing but he has to put in the work if he wants to become a true rim protector. If we take a look around the league, the centers who get the spotlight all have at least one elite skill and Sengun's is his ability to score in the low post. Today's centers are becoming more specialized and are capable of filling multiple roles. Sengun has a lot of moves in his arsenal and can easily get rid of his defender with quick turns, spin moves, and fakes.

He also sees the floor well and can distribute the ball whenever defenses focus on stopping him. In his past two games, he has been brilliant as he scored a career-high 45 points against the Spurs. The very next game against the Blazers Sengun recorded his 4th career triple-double as he scored 23 points, grabbed 19 boards, and had 14 assists in a spectacular performance.