Every year, it seems the NBA is becoming more position-less in how the game is being played. This means that teams are increasingly focused on taking players with unique height for their position. This is best shown through the sort of guards taken towards the top of the lottery during the past few years.
Names like Cade Cunningham and Lamelo Ball went top three in recent drafts because they are 6’7 and can function as primary playmakers who can lead an offense.
However, Scoot Henderson, who is currently playing for the G League Ignite does not have the physicals that matches the current trend. Listed at just 6’2 and 195 pounds, what he lacks in appearance he makes up for in his explosiveness and offensive prowess.
You could make an argument that Henderson is a point guard in the mould of Derrick Rose; the same sort of athletic, agile guard who glides across the effortlessly.
This is a snapshot of what Henderson can bring to the table at the next level:
Scoot went for 29/9/5 in G League Ignite's win. The 18 year old is Projected #2 pick in 2023 NBA Draft pic.twitter.com/ynr9SVqVyX— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) October 5, 2022
Through six G-League Ignite games, the projected No.2 overall pick is averaging 21 points and six assists per game. Scoot is also shooting an amazing 47% from three.
Room for improvement
Henderson can still improve on his ability to facilitate. Despite averaging six assists per game, he has a 2-to-1 turnover ratio and can be sloppy in possession of the ball.
This could change over time as he learns to how to use his pace and manage the tempo of the game. Oklahoma City Thunder fans will be understanding; we went through the same transitional phase with Russell Westbrook.
During his rookie year Westbrook averaged five assists per game and looked incredibly raw. The Thunder persisted with Russell at point guard and eventually ended up with a player who during his peak years led the league in assists.
While Westbrook never managed to cut down his turnovers, Henderson can focus on that early in his career and become a more efficient playmaker.
Even though Henderson shoots great from three, he only attempts three per game. He attempts 17 shots per game and spends most of his game attacking the basket. Ideally, you want to see a slightly better balanced shot diet.
He could also improve as a free throw shooter. Henderson is shooting 70% currently and shot 78% from the free throw line in eleven G-League Ignite games last season.
You would like to see that percentage closer to 90% as he will be closer for whatever team he plays for and will be relied upon to knock down clutch freebies.
These are minor points relating to a tremendous prospect with a lot of upside; Henderson is a legitimate two-way force at the point and his skill as a shot creation is already hugely impressive.
It will be interesting to see what he becomes on the next level. There are other smaller guards like Ja Morant, Darius Garland and Trae Young who are currently playing dominant basketball on a nightly basketball. Henderson is that sort of young player and would genuinely turn the Thunder into a scary team.