Northwest Notes: Henderson, Reath, OKC’s Big Three, Johnson

Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson has earned another opportunity to be a starter, according to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. Henderson was reinserted into the starting five on Thursday, contributing 15 points and four assists against Minnesota.

“He’s made so many advancements, he’s just doing so good,” coach Chauncey Billups said. “And also, I just felt like as a young player, I want him to learn everything he gets. And he’s played so well on both sides of the floor.”

Henderson feels that having a former star point guard like Billups to coach him has aided his development, he told Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports.

“I take hard coaching very well,” said Henderson, who participated in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend. “When I was growing up, my dad was really hard on me. He taught me lessons, and I’m glad I went through things when I was younger, rather than learning them now. I had Coach [Jason] Hart last year, and he’s not easy to be coached by. Chauncey is coaching me hard, but it’s more information rather than just pounding on me.”

We have more from Northwest Division:

  • Trail Blazers big man Duop Reath‘s new three-year contract is guaranteed for two seasons and non-guaranteed for the third, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, who tweets that Portland used $1.95MM of its non-tax mid level exception to sign him. The Blazers are now $1.3MM below the luxury tax, adds Marks, noting that Reath’s first-year salary is five times more than the minimum for a first-year player.
  • The Thunder now have a new Big Three in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman writes. While that trio might not reach the levels of OKC’s former Big Three of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, it’s amazing how quickly the franchise has assembled three top-level talents in the early stages of their careers, Mussatto observes.
  • Thunder second-round pick Keyontae Johnson participated in the NBA G League Next Up game on Sunday. It’s another achievement for a player who faced a major health crisis. Sports Illustrated’s Rylan Stiles details Johnson’s journey to the pros after he collapsed on the court while playing for the University of Florida due to a heart condition. Johnson was initially told by doctors he would never play competitive basketball again.
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