Scoot Henderson is a six-foot-two guard for the G League Ignite and a top prospect in the upcoming NBA Draft. The 19-year-old’s athleticism, finishing, and potential to be a two-way star make him one of the most exciting players in this year’s class.
Scoot Henderson 2023 NBA Draft Profile
G League Career
Henderson began to rise to stardom on his high school team in Georgia. He then graduated a year early and opted to enter the NBA’s G League. In 2021 the five-star recruit signed a two-year, $1 million deal with the Ignite, at the time becoming the youngest professional basketball player in U.S. history at 17 years old.
In his first season with the Ignite, he mainly came off the bench, averaging 14.3 PPG on 44.9% shooting, 4.8 RPG, 4.2 APG, and 1.6 SPG.
This season Henderson moved to a starting position, and his stats improved to 16.5 PPG on 42.9% shooting, 5.3 RPG, 6.8 APG, and 1.1 SPG. The guard missed some time while dealing with multiple injuries, and he was shut down in March for the remainder of the Ignite’s season out of precaution for the draft as the team was unlikely to make the playoffs. Back in October, he played in two exhibition games with the Ignite against generational talent Victor Wembanyama and the Metropolitans 92. He finished the first contest with 28 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals and left the second game early after suffering a bone bruise. Henderson also participated in the NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend twice.
From his time in the G League, Henderson has shown dominance in transition, explosiveness at the rim, and strong defensive instincts. He also has the benefit of having two years of experience playing against some NBA players.
Henderson is dubbed one of the best point guard prospects in years. His greatest strengths are his athleticism, physicality, and speed. These traits, combined with his explosiveness, allow him to thrive in transition and near the rim. He excels at finishing, especially through contact, and delivers highlight reel dunks on a gamely basis.
Along with his phenomenal interior scoring, Henderson is a mid-range threat. His jump shot inside the three-point line is reliable, and he also excels at executing pick and rolls. The guard has repeatedly displayed his ability to easily penetrate the paint and create opportunities for himself using exceptional ball handling and fancy footwork to blow by defenders. On top of being a primary scoring option, he can facilitate the offense and has shown flashes of great playmaking skills.
While his height has been a concern, Henderson’s strong frame and six-foot-nine wingspan make up for it. He’s shown tremendous potential defensively, being able to disrupt and read plays. He’s displayed solid hustle for getting around screens and staying on his assignment. He works to recover loose balls and grab steals to create transition opportunities. Henderson is also a strong rebounder on both ends of the court. Overall, his basketball IQ at such a young age is astonishing.
Henderson’s biggest weakness is his three-point shooting. This season he converted just 27.5% of those shot attempts. In his first year with the Ignite, that number was worse, shooting 17%. Extending his range would be extremely beneficial for Henderson, allowing him to become a three-level scorer and flourish in the NBA. Becoming more efficient at the foul line will also be crucial, as he shot 76.4% from the charity stripe this season.
Another issue for Henderson is staying out of foul trouble. This year he averaged 3.3 personal fouls per game, among the most in the G League. Defensively, he also needs to improve his urgency and consistency. At times he’s struggled to recover from switches and has been too late to contest shots. Getting his timing right and continuing to develop his defensive vision will be significant.
NBA Player Comparison
Henderson’s game is most similar to Russell Westbrook’s. Both have incredible athleticism and are exceptional finishers in the paint. They possess stellar speed and handles to blow by defenders and create looks for themselves near the rim. His explosiveness and defensive hustle also resemble that of Westbrook. Henderson has even shown flashes similar to the styles and skills of Derrick Rose and Ja Morant.
NBA Draft Projection
Henderson is projected to be a top-three pick in the 2023 NBA draft.
Wembanyama will almost certainly be selected first, so Henderson is highly expected to go next. He may also be third, as Brandon Miller is his competition for the second pick.