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While some are already fitting French phenom Victor Wembanyama for his Hall of Fame jacket, one NBA team executive had high praise for an additional 2023 draft prospect.
The Athletic’s Mike Vokunov reported the manager saw shades of Russell Westbrook and John Wall when watching the NBA G League Ignite’s Scoot Henderson.
Henderson, for his part, shied away from any comparisons with current NBA stars:
“No, I need to have my very own profession. Where persons are saying like ‘You are having Scoot’s profession’ or whatever. I need to go down my very own path. I don’t need to attempt to follow up anybody. In fact, Russell Westbrook and John Wall are great players. Great guards, leaders. But I just intend to make my very own path.”
In seven NBA G League appearances, the 18-year-old is averaging 21.0 points and 6.4 assists while shooting 49.5 percent from the sphere.
Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman projected Henderson to go second overall to the Charlotte Hornets in his most up-to-date mock draft:
“Explosive ending, dribble creativity, mid-range scoring/shot-making, improved three-point shooting and enough playmaking have helped paint Henderson because the draft’s second No. 1 overall talent. Improving as a decision-maker (shot selection and turnovers) stands out because the only necessary area he’ll have to prioritize early in the professionals.”
Because their individual fortunes have declined so drastically in recent times, it is simple to overlook how flattering a comparison to Wall or Westbrook is.
The previous made a run of 5 straight All-Star appearances and at his peak averaged 23.1 points and 10.7 assists. The latter is a nine-time All-Star, former NBA MVP and a member of the league’s Seventy fifth-anniversary team who averaged a triple-double 4 times over a five-year stretch.
Wembanyama looks like a very generational prospect. He’ll have to fill out his 7’2″, 229-pound frame a bit, but he does things a player of his size shouldn’t give you the chance to tug off.
However the extent to which Wembanyama has dominated the 2023 NBA draft discourse has allowed Henderson’s potential to fly under the radar a bit. Sure, winning the draft lottery will probably be great, but imagine the consolation prize for landing the No. 2 overall pick was getting to pick out a John Wall or Russell Westbrook-type talent.
It may very well be a bit just like the 2019 NBA draft. Zion Williamson was widely considered the most effective player available that 12 months, and he has lived as much as the hype when healthy. For the Memphis Grizzlies, losing out on Williamson and settling for Ja Morant with the second pick has worked out pretty much nonetheless.
The identical could hold true for whoever is able to take Henderson this summer.