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NBA Draft Prospect Review: Scoot Henderson

Ryan Hinske

Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images

On the heels of another underrated All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City where Mac

McClung earned nineteen 50s and one 49 from the Dunk Contest judges, Damian Lillard hit all

of his last four shots to edge Buddy Hield in the Three Point Competition, and Jayson Tatum

broke the All-Star single-game scoring record with a double nickel, the Rising Stars competition

featured the all-but-set-in-stone 2nd overall pick, Scoot Henderson of the G-League Ignite.

The 6’3, 195 pound point guard that just celebrated his 19th birthday on February 3rd

went for only 4 points, going 1-5 and 0-2 from three point range. He also had 2 assists, 3

turnovers, and 2 steals. What does this underwhelming performance mean for Henderson’s


Spoiler alert: absolutely nothing. Not only does Scoot have the physical skills to be an

NBA superstar, but he also has the work ethic to improve his game, evidenced by his dramatic

growth in 3-point proficiency.

Henderson has an excellent ball handle that flows smoothly into a jump shot, and he can

rise above players that may even be much bigger than him. He can stop on a dime, a very undervalued skill for shot-creating guards, and has a nice mid-range touch. Any layup angle for

Scoot is a good angle, evidenced by his crafty finishing over Victor Wembanyama during their

two meetings in October. Something very interesting about his driving game is that Scoot is

slow and methodical, but can also burst into hyperdrive. This rare skill paired with his decision

making makes defending him an almost insurmountable task.

Scoot has a laser-quick kick out pass and an unbelievable bounce pass for a 19 year

old. Another way he playmakers at an elite level is through the use of the head fake, using his

eyes to mislead defenders and hitting open shooters.

Henderson’s jumpshot is still not NBA-level, but the numbers tell us that he’s working

hard to improve it. I expect Scoot to have a good jump shot added to his arsenal by the time he

signs his 2nd contract in the league.

Defensively, Henderson often falls asleep when guarding one-on-one, and he tends to

get flat-footed when guarding ball handlers. He has great hands and can poke the ball out of

dribblers, but he’s not a good communicator and has lapses in judgment when adjusting and

making rotations. Undoubtedly, his defense is why he has no shot of being the #1 pick this year.

What separates Scoot from the others is his ability to lead. The first time I learned of

Henderson was when Sports Illustrated covered his story in their November issue of 2021.

Scoot has six siblings that live and breathe basketball. Their father, Chris, immersed his children

in the game of basketball while teaching them the importance of being humble and holding their

heads up high. Scoot is described in the article as “serious, reserved, hyper focused, mature

beyond his years but a kid at heart, a sensitive soul” (I highly recommend reading this article to

learn more about Scoot and his journey). The way he is described gives scouts goosebumps.

Scoot has the spirit, work ethic, and mindset of an NBA superstar.

Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr

It is difficult to compare Henderson to any one guard because of his unique skill set, so I

am labeling his ceiling as a prime Chris Paul - John Wall hybrid. He has the size and burst of

Wall combined with the methodical, meticulous decision-making of CP3. Like Wall and Paul, his

size may limit him defensively, but his leadership holds the team together. He works endlessly

on his game, staying healthy, and maintaining focus much like Wall and Paul. This is a Hall of

Famer at his peak. His floor is obviously high, as he will always be able to operate with his

athleticism at the very least and always have a place as a spark-plug scorer at his worst. This

isn’t easy to say as a student in Chicago, but I think locals will be able to visualize my reasoning

for Scoot’s floor in real time. Scoot’s floor is ROOKIE Derrick Rose. Think about it - a 6’3 guard

and natural leader who can get to the paint with ease and create from his athleticism but

maintains a raw understanding of defensive concepts and has room to grow as a jump shooter.

I truly think that Scoot won’t be any less brilliant in the NBA than a pre-realized Derrick Rose. If

his numbers are worse than Rose’s rookie year next season, I will be surprised. This is why

Scoot Henderson is special and will rightfully be the 2nd pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

To learn more about Scoot Henderson, the rest of the 2023 draft class and the

future of the NBA, tune in to NBA Tomorrow on Radio DePaul Sports every Tuesday at

12:00 PM Central.

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