Scoot Henderson

NBA Announces 2023/24 All-Rookie Teams

The NBA officially unveiled the two All-Rookie teams for the 2023/24 season on Monday (Twitter links). The teams are as follows:

First Team

Second Team

Unsurprisingly, Wembanyama and Holmgren were unanimous selections to the first team (Twitter link). Last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Wembanyama was also the unanimous choice for Rookie of the Year, with Holmgren receiving all but one second-place vote for that award.

The entire first team mirrored the Rookie of the Year balloting, with Miller, Jaquez and Podziemski coming in third through fifth. Lively received the most points for the second team, followed by Thompson, George, Wallace and Jackson.

Jackson is the only All-Rookie member who wasn’t drafted in the first round; he was selected 45th overall in 2023 and initially signed a two-way contract. He was converted to a standard contract in February.

The current youngest player in the NBA, Jackson didn’t start receiving regular minutes until mid-January. The 19-year-old put up some big numbers down the stretch though, including 31 points and 44 points in the final two games of the season.

Jackson beat out Warriors big man Trayce Jackson-Davis for the final spot on the second team by a single point. Jackson actually received fewer overall votes (38 vs. 42 for Jackson-Davis), but earned the nod by receiving five first-team votes, which were worth two points apiece (second-team votes were worth one point each).

A total of 22 rookies received at least one vote. Aside from Jackson-Davis, the other top finishers who didn’t make the cut were Pistons forward Ausar Thompson (35 points), Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson (33), and Wizards wing Bilal Coulibaly (14). Ausar is Amen’s identical twin brother.

All-Rookie was one of the awards that didn’t require players to meet the newly instituted 65-game minimum. Jackson, Lively, Thompson, and Wallace didn’t meet that criteria, but they were still eligible for All-Rookie honors.

Northwest Notes: Ayton, Henderson, Billups, Murray, Hayward, Conley

Deandre Ayton and rookie point guard Scoot Henderson are developing the on-court chemistry that the Trail Blazers have been hoping to see, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. That duo led Portland to a pair of road victories this week, combining for 46 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists on Wednesday at Charlotte and 53 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists on Friday at Washington.

Ayton said Henderson, who hit a game-winning shot to beat the Wizards, is learning how to impose his will on teams in his first NBA season.

“We’ve seen glimpses of it right now,” Ayton told reporters. “Scoot’s being extremely poised in certain situations in the game no matter the momentum and he’s just really taken over.”

The short-handed Blazers have relied on Ayton to become their on-court leader, Fentress notes. Jerami Grant, Anfernee Simons, Shaedon Sharpe, Matisse Thybulle and Malcolm Brogdon are all out of the lineup, leaving Ayton as the only player with significant NBA experience.

“DA doesn’t get the credit for being as smart as he is on the floor,” coach Chauncey Billups said. “He’s understanding the angle in which he has to set the screens for Scoot as teams try to go under him. I say it all the time with that pick-and-roll, it’s the point guard and the big guy, it’s a two-way relationship. It takes some time to get used to. You can see them starting to develop some chemistry in the coverages that teams play against us and against Scoot, which obviously is totally different than with (Simons). So, it takes some concentration to be honest with you, but I just love to see that chemistry developing between those two guys.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Billups called his selection to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall a Fame a bright spot in a difficult season for the Trail Blazers, Fentress adds in a separate story. “This definitely comes at a good time,” Billups said. “I think not just from me but just our group. Just to have some positivity. To have some good things to talk about about our organization, about our team. Because it has been a very tough year. But this has come at a really good time for all of us.”
  • Jamal Murray returned to the Nuggets‘ lineup on Saturday after missing seven games with inflammation in his right knee, per Bennett Durando of The Denver Post. Durando notes that Murray wore wraps on his knee and back during part of his pre-game warmup.
  • Thunder forward Gordon Hayward exited Friday’s game early due to soreness in his lower left leg, tweets Joel Lorenzi of The Oklahoman. He and Jalen Williams are both listed as questionable for today’s game at Charlotte.
  • Timberwolves guard Mike Conley flew from Phoenix to Memphis on Saturday so he could be part of a jersey retirement ceremony for former teammate Marc Gasol, according to Chris Hine of The Star-Tribune (Twitter link). Conley will catch a flight to Los Angeles in time for tonight’s game with the Lakers.

Hornets Notes: Miller, Clifford, Coaching Search, Staley

Brandon Miller vs. Scoot Henderson was the most debated topic heading into the draft last June, but their first on-court meeting didn’t happen until Wednesday, writes Shane Connuck of The Charlotte Observer. The Hornets opted for Miller with the No. 2 pick, even though Henderson was the more heralded prospect. Charlotte’s decision has paid off as Miller has been one of this season’s top rookies — averaging 17.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 70 games — while Henderson has taken longer to adjust to the NBA.

“Just to go against each other early in our careers — like, there’s gonna be even more fun in the long run,” Henderson said after the Trail Blazers pulled out a three-point victory at Charlotte. “(Miller) can shoot it really, really well. Off the dribble, catch and shoot. That really stuck out to me.”

Connuck notes that the Hornets hosted both players for individual workouts before making their final decision. They already have a dynamic lead guard in LaMelo Ball, even though he has missed most of the season due to injuries, and were intrigued by Miller’s size and shooting ability.

Miller was equally complimentary of Henderson after their first game.

“He can do a bit of everything, tonight he was knocking down threes,” Miller said. “A big physical guard who can get downhill and finish around the rim and create. I think it’s a good fit for him in Portland because he has pieces around him who can knock down shots. So you know he’s going to have a great career and I look forward to playing against him again.”

There’s more from Charlotte:

  • Miller achieved a shooting feat Friday night that only Stephen Curry has ever matched, per Alex Zietlow of The Charlotte Observer. Miller became just the second player to top 25 points by halftime without missing a shot from the field or the foul line while attempting at least five three-pointers. “You’ve been watching him all year,” coach Steve Clifford said. “He’s a very mature, very poised player. I mean, the things he does, you can’t teach. And it’s interesting watching him: All of the stuff that you want him to do as a team, he’s good at. But then all the things as a coach that you have no say over, he’s good at that too. We function well when he’s out there because the team stuff, he’s great at, and then he’s a talented guy. He’s a great competitor.”
  • Clifford’s decision to accept a front office role is the best move for him and the team, contends Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Boone points out that the Hornets faced an April 30 deadline to notify Clifford if they were planning to extend his contract. Resolving the issue early gives the organization a head start on hiring Clifford’s replacement.
  • At a press conference this week, executive vice president Jeff Peterson talked about the qualities he’s looking for in the team’s next head coach, Boone adds. “A lively energy to come in with a level of excitement to teach these guys,” Peterson said. “As Cliff was saying, it’s a different generation so the ability to teach them and help them retain information is important. (Also) player development. We are still relatively in this youthful phase and at the same time I feel like everyone can be better. I don’t care how old you are or how many years of service you have in this league, you can always find a way to be better.”  
  • Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe believes the Hornets should consider South Carolina’s Dawn Staley as the NBA’s first female head coach. He states that the Celtics were interested in interviewing Staley during the coaching search that led to the hiring of Ime Udoka.

Trail Blazers Notes: Injuries, Sharpe, Henderson, Reath

At 19-52, the Trail Blazers don’t have much left to play for, but they don’t intend to shut down any of their injured players for the rest of the season, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. Portland started five rookies Saturday night because of injuries to rotation members, but coach Chauncey Billups hopes to eventually have his regular lineup together.

“I think we have so much growth and development that needs to happen,” Billups said. “Obviously, we know we’re not going to the playoffs. But these dudes need to get better. They need to get to know each other while paying. The only way you get better at basketball is playing basketball.”

Jerami Grant is dealing with a hamstring issue that has sidelined him for the past two weeks, and Malcolm Brogdon hasn’t played since February 2 because of tendinitis in his elbow. Billups expressed hope that both players can return before the end of the season, along with Shaedon Sharpe, who has been out since January due to core muscle surgery, and Anfernee Simons, who had an MRI on Sunday after leaving Friday’s game with a knee injury. Simons is listed as questionable for tonight’s contest, which suggests that the injury isn’t that serious. Deandre Ayton, who missed the past two games with tendinitis in his left elbow, is also questionable.

The Blazers ended the past two seasons by sitting out players to improve their lottery odds, but Billups would rather see progress from his current group than focus on the draft. His teams have been hit hard by injuries since he took over as coach three years ago, but he hasn’t lost 60 games in a season and he wants to avoid reaching that total this year.

“I hate that I’m used to it,” he said of dealing with injuries. “But I’ve learned that it’s something that I can’t control, obviously. I try to always be positive and give whatever I have to whoever is playing the best I can. But it has been tough.”

There’s more from Portland:

  • Sharpe has been assigned to the organization’s G League team, marking an important step in his comeback, per Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report. Sharpe will practice with the Rip City Remix while the Blazers are on a two-week road trip and if he responds well, he may be back in the NBA during the final week of the season.
  • Scoot Henderson is sad to see the G League Ignite shutting down after it helped prepare him for the NBA, Highkin adds in a separate story (subscription required). “The coaches, they don’t get enough credit for having to get guys from high school, to get them up to speed in a few weeks to play some grown men that have children to feed,” Henderson said. “You don’t see that. You see them getting beat a lot and having a horrible record. You don’t see the things that they go through day-to-day. From my viewpoint, they helped me in a huge way to be where I am right now. I can’t thank them enough.”
  • Andrew Lopez of ESPN traces the remarkable journey of Duop Reath from his childhood in war-torn South Sudan to becoming an NBA rookie at 27. Reath was playing in Australia when he got a scholarship offer from Lee College in Texas. He eventually transferred to LSU, spent some time in Serbia, China and Lebanon, landed a spot on the Australian Olympic team and played four years in Summer League before getting his NBA opportunity. “I felt a sense of gratitude,” Reath said. “Reflecting on my journey, I feel like every experience played a major role to put me in the position I am today.”

Northwest Notes: Trail Blazers, Henderson, Gobert, George

The Trail Blazers started five rookies in tonight’s game against Denver, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. The lineup consisted of Scoot Henderson, Kris Murray, Rayan Rupert, Toumani Camara and Duop Reath, marking only the second time that a team has started five first-year players since the NBA began tracking starters in 1970/71. The 2012 Warriors were the first, according to a tweet from the Blazers.

The move was necessitated by the team’s lengthy injury list, which grew even longer when guard Anfernee Simons had to leave Friday’s game in the third quarter after hurting his left knee. Coach Chauncey Billups told reporters that Simons will undergo an MRI on Sunday.

Deandre Ayton missed Friday’s game with tendinitis in his left elbow, which is also keeping him out tonight. Jerami Grant is already sidelined with a hamstring issue, and Malcolm Brogdon has been out of action since early February with elbow tendinitis. Billups expressed hope that Grant and Brogdon can return before the end of the season.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Friday marked Henderson’s best performance since suffering a groin injury during the Rising Stars game at All-Star Weekend, observes Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report (subscription required). The No. 3 pick in last year’s draft, who posted 24 points, five rebounds, 10 assists and two steals in the Trail Blazers‘ loss to the Clippers, talked about his experience with the “rookie wall.” “It’s a longer season now, so you kind of get that wall a little later,” Henderson said. “After 50 games in the G League, you’re like, ‘OK, let’s play another one.’ But when you hit 50 or 60 [in the NBA], it’s a little tougher now.”
  • Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert is determined to not let the pain from a sprained rib keep him out of the lineup, per Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops“You got to embrace the pain sometimes. Sometimes the pain of watching hurts more than the pain of the injury itself,” Gobert said. “It is all about playing through that. As long as I can move, able to impact the game, I am going to be out there.”
  • The Timberwolves fired a team employee this week for stealing thousands of files, some of which contained “strategic NBA information,” according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN. Somak Sarkar was charged with felony third-degree burglary.
  • Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune examines the high turnover rate for Jazz rookie guard Keyonte George and how it might impact his NBA future.

Northwest Notes: Gobert, Wolves, Ayton, Henderson, Sharpe, SGA

Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert picked up an ill-timed technical for making the “money” sign to officials after fouling out Friday night, but he didn’t back away from his accusation that their calls can be influenced by gambling, according to Joe Vardon and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

The technical, which allowed the Cavaliers to tie a game that they went on to win in overtime, came after Gobert was whistled for his sixth foul with 27.8 seconds remaining. He admitted that his reaction was a mistake, but he believes the reasons behind it are justified.

“Mistakes happen. Referees make mistakes, too,” Gobert said. “But sometimes I think it’s more than mistakes. I think everyone that’s in this league knows. I think it’s got to get better.” After saying he expects to be fined for his comments, Gobert added, “I know the betting and all that is becoming bigger and bigger, but it shouldn’t feel that way.”

Gobert has a history of being outspoken about officiating throughout his career, the authors note. Speaking to reporters because head coach Chris Finch was ill, assistant Micah Nori called it “unacceptable” to get T’d up in that situation, no matter how strongly Gobert feels about the subject.

“We just have to be smarter,” Nori said. “I think he made a visual or something, it’s kind of automatic. And we all know Rudy. There’s no more professional guy than him. In that moment, for him to do that, obviously he feels awful about it. We just gotta be a little bit better.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Chris Hine of The Star Tribune examines how the Timberwolves can survive without Karl-Anthony Towns, who’s lost for at least four weeks with a torn meniscus. Hine points to Kyle Anderson, Naz Reid, Jaden McDaniels and Mike Conley as players who have to contribute more until Towns returns.
  • The Trail Blazers welcomed back starting center Deandre Ayton and rookie point guard Scoot Henderson tonight. Ayton had been sidelined since spraining his right hand in a February 27 game, and Henderson hadn’t played since before the All-Star break because of an adductor strain. Coach Chauncey Billups said Henderson will start out under a minutes restriction, but will eventually be reinstated into the starting lineup, tweets Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report. Billups also expressed hope that Shaedon Sharpe can return from core muscle surgery before the end of the season (Twitter link). “This has been tough on him,” Billups said. “He wants to play 82 games. He’s one of those guys. … If he’s healthy, we’d love to have him back. I don’t care how much of the season is left. He’s a guy who needs those reps.”
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander believes the Thunder have the talent to compete for an NBA title this season, telling ESPN (video link), “I think we’re capable of anything.”

Injury Notes: Lonzo, LaVine, Scoot, Ayton, Middleton, Maxey

Bulls head coach Billy Donovan shared some good news on Lonzo Ball on Saturday, telling reporters – including K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago – that the veteran point guard has begun more advanced rehab activities, including sprinting, cutting, and jumping. It’s a positive development, given that Donovan said last month that Ball hadn’t yet been cleared to sprint.

“Some of the workouts have been really, really positive and he has progressed,” Donovan said today. “He has responded well. Some of the things that medical guys have shown me is he looks good moving. I’m just really happy for him personally for his progress. He has worked hard to put himself in this position. And hopefully, he can continue to progress.”

Ball, who last suited up for an NBA game in January 2022, has undergone three surgeries on his left knee since then, including a cartilage transplant approximately a year ago. The next step in his recovery would be getting cleared for contact, but there’s no set timeline for him advancing to that stage, according to Donovan.

The Bulls’ head coach also provided an update on Zach LaVine, who underwent surgery on a “non-union Jones fracture” in his right foot last month. As Johnson relays, LaVine is ahead of schedule in his rehab process and is aiming to be back to full strength in three months rather than the four-to-six months initially projected. Either way, we shouldn’t expect to see the guard back in action until the fall.

Here are a few more injury-related updates from around the NBA:

  • A pair of injured Trail Blazers appear on track to return to action on Saturday, according to Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report (Twitter links). Scoot Henderson, out since the All-Star break due to a left adductor strain, and Deandre Ayton, who has missed the past five games due to a sprained right hand, have both been listed as probable to play vs. Toronto.
  • Bucks head coach Doc Rivers said on Friday night that Khris Middleton (left ankle sprain) could play on Sunday for the first time since February 6, tweets Mark Medina of Sportskeeda. As Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel observes, Middleton has been sidelined long enough that he’ll fall short of playing in 62 games, which means he’ll miss out on earning a $1.5MM bonus in his contract.
  • Sixers head coach Nick Nurse described Tyrese Maxey‘s concussion symptoms earlier this week as “very mild,” per Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer, and told reporters on Friday that he was optimistic about the guard’s chances to play on Sunday in New York (Twitter link via Mizell). However, Philadelphia has officially listed Maxey as out for that game. Unless that designation changes by Sunday night, it will be the fourth consecutive game he has missed.

Northwest Notes: McDaniels, KAT, Edwards, Blazers Injuries, Kessler

With Karl-Anthony Towns out indefinitely, the Timberwolves are going to need Jaden McDaniels to step up on the offensive side of the ball in order for Minnesota to reach its potential, Michael Rand of The Star Tribune writes.

For most of the season, the Wolves’ late-game offense consisted of Mike Conley getting Towns and Anthony Edwards in the best positions to succeed offensively. With or without Towns, McDaniels getting more involved could increase the team’s ceiling, Rand writes.

McDaniels is averaging 10.5 points per game while shooting 50.5% from the field and 36.0% from deep this season. However, he’s taking roughly the same number of shots per night as Conley and Rudy Gobert, and with the Wolves ranking 26th in offensive rating in fourth quarters, Rand believes McDaniels’ high ceiling holds the key to Minnesota’s improvement.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • There’s no replacement for Towns and his All-Star production, but Conley expressed optimism in the rest of a roster that has helped the Timberwolves post a West-best 43-19 record this season. “We’ve got full confidence in our roster for guys to step up and make plays in his absence,” Conley said, per Alan Horton of Wolves Radio (Twitter link). “We’ve had some experience with this [last season] and we’re gonna have to do it by committee, there’s no way to take up what he does with just one guy.
  • In their first game after the Towns injury news, the Timberwolves defeated the Pacers 113-111 behind 44 points from Anthony Edwards. Edwards exited for the locker room with a foot injury (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski), but returned to propel Minnesota to the win with 16 points and a big game-sealing block in the fourth quarter.
  • The Trail Blazers are dealing with a plethora of injuries to key players as the season winds on, with Malcolm Brogdon (elbow, out since Feb. 2), Shaedon Sharpe (abdominal, out since Jan. 11) and Scoot Henderson (thigh, out since Feb. 15) among them. Head coach Chauncey Billups provided updates on that trio, according to Rose Garden Report’s Sean Highkin (Twitter link). Brogdon is doing more work but is still experiencing discomfort in his elbow while Sharpe has begun light shooting. Henderson is further along and could be back this weekend (Twitter link).
  • Jazz center Walker Kessler, who hasn’t played since Feb. 27, was a full participant in practice on Thursday, according to The Salt Lake Tribune’s Andy Larsen (Twitter link). While there isn’t definite news for his status in Utah’s Saturday game against Denver, it’s a step in the right direction, Larsen adds. In 51 games (17 starts) this season, Kessler is averaging 8.5 points and 7.4 rebounds.

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.

Northwest Notes: Henderson, Ayton, Murray, Gordon, Flagler

Scoot Henderson received his first start since Jan. 14 on Thursday and Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups plans to keep him in the lineup, according to Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report (Twitter links).

“The biggest thing is he deserves it. He’s just played really well,” Billups said. “I’ve wanted him to earn everything he gets. And he’s done that.”

Henderson, the third pick of last year’s draft, averaged 19.0 points and 5.6 assists in the previous five games.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Deandre Ayton has averaged 17.8 points on 62% shooting from the field, 11.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.4 blocks in his last 10 games. The Trail Blazers center missed 12 games due to a knee injury and returned to action on Jan. 19. Ayton feels he’s fitting in better by taking inventory of his past mistakes, he told Casey Holdahl of the Blazers’ website. “I’ve been trying to humble myself a little bit and just accept the challenge, have some humility when it comes to failure,” he said. “Not try to rush anything. We’re a young team but we’re an exciting team as well. We just can’t skip no steps and we have to go through these growing pains a little bit where we’re just trying to know each other, really.”
  • Jamal Murray was passed over for All-Star recognition yet again this season, but he has something more important — a championship ring. The Nuggets guard expressed that sentiment to The Athletic’s Sam Amick. “I’m an All-Star when you need the All-Star to show up — in the playoffs,” he said. “You want the best to step up (then), right? And I think I do a good job of that. So I kind of backed myself up in that way. That’s it. That’s what it is. So it’s just more fuel to the fire. But (not being selected an All-Star) doesn’t hurt me like that, psychologically. I haven’t made it for so long, and I’m a champion. And I’m on the best team in the world playing with the best player in the world.”
  • The Nuggets enter the All-Star break on a three-game skid and Aaron Gordon tells The Denver Post’s Bennett Durando that some time off is exactly what they require. “I think everybody needs a break,” Gordon said. “Everybody needs some rest. I think that’s what it comes down to. When you’re fatigued, not only is your body tired, but your mind is tired, too. Your ability to focus is just not as laser-sharp.”
  • Adam Flagler‘s two-way contract with the Thunder is for two seasons, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. Flagler, an undrafted guard playing with the team’s G League affiliate, signed on Saturday.