By STEVEN VAUGHAN, 750 THE GAME
“With the third pick in the NBA Draft. The Portland Trail Blazers select…….. Scoot Henderson from Marietta, Georgia and the NBA G League’s Team Ignite.”
Adam Silver made the announcement and Blazers fans can rejoice. Scoot Henderson is going to be a member of the Portland Trail Blazers for the 2023-24 season.
After a wild day on the betting markets that once saw Henderson as a -750 favorite to be the no. 2 overall pick, the Charlotte Hornets ultimately selected Alabama wing Brandon Miller, allowing Portland to take Henderson.
Playing for the G League Ignite, a lot of people didn’t watch a lot of Scoot Henderson. Here are three reasons why Henderson is going to help the Trail Blazers now and in the future.
Blazers fans have seen explosiveness out of Damian Lillard when he was a young player in the NBA. Scoot is even more explosive.
Henderson is the type of guard that is going to attack the rim and try to dunk on every single player. For the Blazers that will be big, because the Blazers have shooters which will open up the lane for Henderson to attack one-on-one. In the NBA game spacing is key. And while Scoot is not a great shooter at this moment. He can attack the rim and be explosive. With Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant on the outside drawing the help defense out to them. Scoot Henderson is going to have room to attack.
2. Another play maker
Blazers fans have argued about whether the Blazers need a good back up point guard. The team never addressed it. And Damian Lillard is so good that you want him playing point guard all the time. But I argue the team has always needed a secondary ball handler to have the weight taken off of Lillard’s shoulders just a little. Henderson is going to be able to do that. The fact that Henderson has played two seasons in the G League already is going to make him more “NBA ready” more quickly. As a 19 year old playing against professionals, Henderson averaged 6.6 assists a game. That is going to be very helpful for the Blazers. As Lillard gets older. I think the Blazers need to put less on Lillard’s shoulders. Henderson will allow Lillard to play off the ball and become a spot up shooter or even take a break on the offensive side and hopefully mean he can provide a little more effort on the defensive side.
The Blazers have been in a rut. Shaedon Sharpe provided a spark last season. Now with Scoot Henderson in the mix. The excitement is much higher. Whatever the Blazers decided to do with Damian Lillard. The building blocks of Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe in the backcourt is a great spot to build a franchise. Neither may be ever as good as Lillard. But they don’t have to. On paper it is a much better fit together and Sharpe is 20 years old and Henderson is 19 years old. They may not be ready to win right away, but there could be a lot worse places to be in the NBA. Two of the more athletic, talented players in the NBA on the same team. The excitement should be growing every day for the Trail Blazers.