Draft Notes: Henderson, Top Prospects, Magic, Pacers, Jazz

In a short written piece alongside a longer video for The Players’ Tribune, G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson details how his father helped him develop into the player he has become. Henderson, who is projected a top-three pick for the upcoming 2023 NBA draft, also explains his desire to achieve greatness.

I want this,” Henderson writes. “I don’t ever want somebody to think they’re better than me. All of my idols have a killer mentality. Kobe (Bryant), (Russell) Westbrook, (Stephen) Curry…. I’ve always admired players with a drive that takes them beyond what the average person is willing to do to succeed. I think you have to be kind of crazy, if I’m being honest. All the greats are. And my dad wanted me to know that.

“I want to go beyond what it takes to be in the league. I’m not just looking for a roster spot — I’m searching for greatness. So, no, actually … with all respect to my dad…. I don’t just want this. I need this. See you at the draft.

Here are a few more notes on the draft:

  • While Victor Wembanyama, Henderson and Brandon Miller are widely considered the draft’s “big three,” that doesn’t mean they’ll ultimately be the three best NBA players. Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo of ESPN.com (Insider link) examine four prospects who could feasibly become one of the draft’s top three players down the line, weighing the pros and cons of each player as well as their ideal fits with teams. At the top of the list is Overtime Elite’s Amen Thompson, whose explosive athleticism, body control, ability to change speeds, vision and defensive flashes give him the highest upside in the draft outside of Wembanyama, according to Givony. Thompson is ranked No. 4 on ESPN’s big board, but Givony believes the Wizards (No. 8) or Jazz (No. 9) might be the best long-term situations for the young guard.
  • In the latest aggregate mock draft for HoopsHype, Michael Scotto reports that rival teams believe the Magic might be open to packaging their two lottery picks (Nos. 6 and 11) in order to move into the 3-5 range. According to Scotto, the Pacers might gauge the value of the No. 7 pick in a potential win-now move for a forward, while the Mavericks have been shopping their own lottery pick, 10th overall, in an effort to find an impact veteran.
  • As Rafael Barlowe of NBA Big Board writes, although rivals front offices have been expecting the Jazz to pursue a point guard with their lottery pick, there are rumors they might target French wing Bilal Coulibaly instead. Coulibaly has been shining in the LNB Pro A playoffs alongside his Metropolitans 92 teammate, Wembanyama. Barlowe also hears the Jazz are high on Tennessee wing Julian Phillips, whose stock is rising after strong measurements and athletic testing at the draft combine. Utah controls three first-rounders: Nos. 9, 16 and 28.
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