Trail Blazers pick Scoot Henderson 3rd overall in 2023 NBA Draft

The Portland Trail Blazers have selected Scoot Henderson with the third pick in 2023 NBA Draft. As expected is san antonio tracks selected center Victor Wembanyama as the first overall pick. The Charlotte Hornets took Alabama forward Brandon Miller with the second pick, leaving Henderson for the Trail Blazers.

Henderson joins a team with Damian Lillard at point guard. The most famous Trail Blazer of all time has requested roster help so the final part of his career can be spent contending in the playoffs without representing the team in draft picks. Whether Henderson and Lillard can coexist as ball-dominant point guards remains to be seen.

Whether they will have to is also an open question. Henderson is expected to develop into a franchise-defining star himself. His value on the trade market should be high. If he plays well, that will only increase with time. If he plays incredibly well, Lillard himself could end up on the trade block.

Those are questions for tomorrow. Because today, the Blazers got themselves a player who, in a non-Wembanyama year, would be projected as a first overall pick or a close second. Here’s how Blazer’s Edge draft guru Steve Dewald described Henderson’s game in our pre-draft preview.

Scott Henderson

  • Height: 6’2″
  • WT: 195
  • Wing catch: 6’9″
  • Shooting hand: Right
  • Position: PG
  • Age: 19
  • Expected draft range: 2-3

2022-23 Statistics

*Stats are a combination of G League Ignite’s regular season and showcase schedules

  • PTS: 17.6 | Per 36: 21.0
  • AST: 6.6 | Per 36: 7.8
  • ROPE: 5.1 | Per 36: 6.1
  • STL: 1.2 | Per 36: 1.4
  • FG%: 44.4
  • 3P%: 32.4
  • FT%: 75.0


Scoot Henderson combines elite athleticism and a cerebral approach to lead-guard duties. Fueled by an explosive first step, Henderson’s film pops from the moment it starts. He effortlessly blows past defenders, powers through contact in the paint and finishes attempts above the rim. His quickness and penchant for getting vertical make him an absolute threat in the open lane. Henderson can rise to the cup with a short runway and can do it outside of either leg. When he’s not going for a poster-worthy dunk, he carefully protects the ball with his body to convert contested layups. However, Henderson’s downhill scoring ability is more than just pure athleticism. He controls the pace all the way. Henderson is an expert at creating separation from carefully timed directional changes to stopping on a dime.

When Henderson isn’t at the rim, he possesses all the mechanics to beat opponents with pull-up jumpers. His dribble-to-shot motion doesn’t waste movement, and it punishes defenders who give him too much room around the elbows. Along with his pull-up shot, Henderson has a fluid floater that keeps defenses off balance beyond the restricted area.

Outside of one-on-one opportunities, Henderson is a polished pick-and-roll operator. It’s rare to see a teenager who has a firm understanding of their gravity on the field. Henderson constantly stretches opposing defenses to create favorable looks for his teammates. He consistently avoids turnovers and puts the ball on the mark for the roll man in traffic. Henderson’s pick-and-roll prowess matches his isolation talent to form an ideal offensive center for today’s NBA.

Defensively, Henderson’s long arms and athleticism allow him to cover guards who have a height advantage. Off the ball, his quickness and leaping ability combine to generate steals and blocks. Along with these physical gifts, Henderson is a relentless competitor. He routinely fights through screens and challenges bigger players at the rim.


Henderson’s lack of three-point consistency prevents him from making the mark for a complete package. His outside shooting improved year by year in the G League, but it’s not a finished product. When his shots aren’t falling from the outside, defenses give him room to shoot and clog lanes as a result. Henderson’s three-point shooting woes are compounded by his lack of effectiveness as a catch-and-shoot option. His much-used role in the Ignite squad this year did little to develop his off-ball presence in the offense.

Inside the arc, Henderson settles for too many mid-range shots early in possessions. On defense, he doesn’t have the anchor to keep bigger opponents out of the paint when turnovers occur.

Season 2022-23

After Dyson Daniels’ departure to the NBA, Henderson took over primary ball-handling duties for Ignite. Going up against professional competition every night as a teenager, Henderson established himself as a premier option on offense. The Ignite finished with an 11-21 regular season record. Because of a concussion and broken nose early in the seasonHenderson only appeared in 19 of those outings.

Overall assessment

If it weren’t for Victor Wembanyama, Henderson would have a legitimate claim to the overall No. 1 spot in this draft. By comparison, Henderson’s combination of athleticism and experience as a facilitator puts him well ahead of Jaden Ivey’s 2022 profile. Henderson has the pick-and-roll chops, explosiveness and basketball knowledge to rival or surpass the early-career production of Ja Morant . and Anthony Edwards.

Henderson possesses a wealth of attributes that simply cannot be taught, or at best take years to develop. On the opposite end of the spectrum, his flaws as a prospect can be fixed. Henderson’s shooting mechanics are sound, and his shooting touch in other areas paves the way for an improved three-point shot.

Overall fit

In a Wembanyama-or-bust climate heading into the draw, envisioning Henderson’s fit with the Blazers is a difficult task. But imagining a future backcourt with Shaedon Sharpe and Henderson is a worthy and exciting thought exercise. If both players reach their respective potentials, a Henderson-Sharpe starting court would induce headaches from every corner of the NBA.

If the Blazers manage to move up in the lottery but fail to land the No. 1 pick, Henderson’s presence on the board has the potential to create an interesting situation for Portland. If a team is desperate to acquire the rights to a talented guard in exchange for legitimate win-now players or valuable assets, why not wait to see if Damian Lillard becomes available?

For me, there are three levels in the early lottery this year. Wembanyama and Henderson, in that order, get their own levels. The next five players on my table land in their own group. Henderson’s talent and potential fit alongside Sharpe should warrant serious consideration from the Blazers. From a value standpoint, Henderson tops the list of non-Wembanyama in this draft. If a hypothetical trade capable of undoing nearly a decade of roster mismanagement magically becomes a reality for the Blazers, Henderson could be at the forefront of an outgoing trade package.

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