With the 2022 NBA Draft now in the rearview, it’s time to start looking ahead to next year’s 2023 NBA Draft class. One of the top jewels in the class, aside from the “French Freak” Victor Wenbayama, is G League Ignite guard sensation Scoot Henderson.
The guard is currently projected to go second in the 2023 NBA Draft after dominating the G League as a 17-year-old. He put up averages of 14.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.7 steals per game while shooting 45% from the field and 77% from the foul line.
Henderson decided to skip what would’ve been his senior year of high school and freshman year of college this season to get two seasons of pro experience under his belt before his eventual jump to the NBA in 2023. He is a dynamic athlete who has garnered comparisons to explosive star NBA guards from the past, such as Russell Westbrook and pre-injury Derrick Rose, which are some big shoes to fill.
2023 NBA Draft: Can Scoot Henderson be the next great NBA guard?
He has a strong frame at 6’3, 195 pounds, and with a 6’9 wingspan, which makes him well accustomed to absorbing contact and finishing through taller opponents. Over the last few years, we’ve seen an influx of great guards enter the league. This includes the likes of Luka Doncic, Ja Morant, Trae Young, LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, and so forth. Henderson has the mentality to be great and the ability to do so, too.
His elite finishing ability, speed, and change of direction are why he’s compared to guys such as Rose and Westbrook. If he were compared to one of the younger young star guards in the league currently, it would have to be Morant due to his elite finishing ability and jaw-dropping athleticism, both of which make you gasp in amazement at what these guys can do on the court, despite being relatively small for NBA standards.
Henderson also has a nice middle game that will help him preserve his body from always attacking the basket with reckless abandon. One thing he’ll need to improve is his outside shot, as he shot just 14.7% last season from beyond the arc.
He also averaged 2.5 turnovers a game, which isn’t alarming for a guy who’s going to handle most of the playmaking duties as the primary operator, but could still stand to improve on that front.
He was featured in a Sports Illustrated article back in November of 2021 by Howard Beck that listed some high praise for the upcoming young star guard. Praise that includes Boston Celtics All-Star forward Jaylen Brown stating that he’s “the best 17-year-old I’ve ever seen,” or his coach Jason Hart from high school saying that he plays like “a young Derrick Rose.”
The race to the 2023 NBA Draft should sure be an exciting one, as there are two very unique, heavily-hyped prospects leading the class. Can Henderson overtake Wenbayama as the number one pick in 2023? And can he correct his weaknesses to become the next great NBA guard?
Only time will tell, but it sure will be a hell of a ride, so buckle your seatbelts.