Scoot Henderson

Draft Notes: Miller, Henderson, Black, Early Entrants

Alabama freshman Brandon Miller has become a legitimate contender to be taken with the second pick in this year’s draft, writes Sam Vecenie of The Athletic. French center Victor Wembanyama remains a clear favorite as the top choice, but in conversations with NBA executives and scouts, Vecenie finds that teams are considering Miller alongside G League guard Scoot Henderson, who had been ranked second in most mock drafts since the season began.

Vecenie still has Henderson second on his list, calling him “an elite-level competitor with elite athleticism” and comparing him to Anthony Edwards and Derrick Rose. But Miller has steadily worked his way up NBA draft boards throughout the season while leading the Crimson Tide to the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

The 6’9″ wing has drawn comparisons to Paul George while averaging 19.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He’s also shooting 45% from the field and 40% from three-point range and is viewed as a solid defender. Miller has improved his ability to create shots off the dribble and has shown an ability to score through contact that scouts had originally doubted. There are obvious questions surrounding the role he played in a January shooting, but Vecenie doesn’t believe that will affect his draft status as long as he’s not charged in the case.

There’s more on the NBA draft:

  • Miller gave brief answers during the SEC Tournament when he was asked about his involvement in the incident, but Alabama coach Nate Oats talked it more in depth with Kyle Tucker of The Athletic. “Based on everything we know, Brandon didn’t break any laws, he didn’t violate any school policy and he’s a fully cooperating witness,” Oats said. “Based on all that, we made the decision to let him keep playing.”
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic also touches on the Miller vs. Henderson debate, suggesting that Miller may be the best perimeter player in college basketball. Hollinger, who attended the SEC Tournament last week, identifies Arkansas as a team to watch in the NCAA Tournament, stating that the Razorbacks may have five players who will get drafted. Nick Smith Jr. and Anthony Black are considered potential lottery picks, and Hollinger sees Black as a candidate for the No. 4 pick, even though he hasn’t shot well in his freshman season.
  • Belmont senior guard Ben Sheppard will give up his final year of eligibility and enter the draft, tweets Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Sheppard was a first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference selection and an All-Defensive team choice this year.
  • Real Madrid’s Eli Ndiaye, an 18-year-old center out of Senegal, has also declared for the draft, according to Givony (Twitter link).

Scoot Henderson To Be Shut Down For Rest Of Season

The G League Ignite are shutting down star prospect Scoot Henderson for the remainder of the NBAGL season, a league official tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link). The Ignite have five games left in the regular season, which concludes on March 25.

As Givony explains, the Ignite – who have an 11-16 record and rank 10th in the G League’s Western Conference – aren’t expected to reach the top six and make the playoffs. Additionally, the league feels Henderson has shown enough this season to prove his bona fides as one of the top picks in this year’s draft.

Henderson averaged 21.2 PPG, 5.8 APG, 4.5 RPG, and 1.7 SPG on .485/.471/.706 shooting in six games (28.5 MPG) during the G League’s Showcase Cup in the fall. Since the NBAGL’s regular season began, he has put up 16.5 PPG, 6.8 APG, and 5.3 RPG in 19 appearances (30.7 MPG), though his shooting numbers (.429/.275/.764) dipped quite a bit.

For much of the 2022/23 season, Henderson has been viewed as a long shot to go No. 1 in the 2023 draft – due to Victor Wembanyama‘s presence at the top of this year’s class – but a virtual lock to be the second player off the board. However, his grip on that No. 2 may have loosened in recent weeks due to his up-and-down performance during the G League’s regular season.

John Hollinger of The Athletic noted on Monday that Henderson’s inconsistent play has “started to raise some eyebrows” at the same time that possible No. 3 pick Brandon Miller has been thriving on the court in Alabama. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter video link) conveyed a similar sentiment in a recent TV appearance, suggesting that teams believe Miller is “firmly in the mix” at No. 2.

Eastern Notes: Pistons Draft, Love, Raptors, Brunson

The Pistons shouldn’t hesitate to take guard Scoot Henderson if they get the No. 2 pick in the draft, The Athletic’s NBA draft analyst Sam Vecenie told Pistons beat reporter James Edwards III. In Vecenie’s view, Henderson is too talented to pass on, even though the franchise has drafted guards in the last three lotteries.

While Vecenie believes Alabama’s Brandon Miller is solidly the third-best player in the draft class, he says the Pistons shouldn’t reach beyond Henderson or trade the pick since Henderson is the type of competitor who can lift his team’s level of play on a nightly basis.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Heat play Kevin Love‘s former team on Wednesday but it’s uncertain whether the veteran power forward will suit up. He’s listed as questionable against Cleveland due to a rib contusion, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets. Love missed the Heat’s two-point win over Atlanta on Monday.
  • The Raptors lost to the Western Conference-leading Nuggets on Monday but coach Nick Nurse was encouraged by what he saw, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. “We play like that and we can beat anybody, doesn’t matter if it’s home or away or where they are in the standings, etc,” Nurse said. “Probably outplayed ’em, to be honest and think we executed very, very well.” Toronto lost 118-113 in a game marred by a controversial late ejection of Scottie Barnes.
  • Jalen Brunson was sidelined for the second straight game on Tuesday with a sore left foot, Tim Bomtemps of ESPN tweets. However, it appears the Knicks point guard could be back soon. Coach Tom Thibodeau said Brunson is feeling better, and will be going on the four-game road trip that begins Thursday in Sacramento.

Pistons Notes: Wiseman, Draft, Bagley, Ivey, Duren

The Pistons gambled on James Wiseman‘s potential, trading away steady forward Saddiq Bey in the process, and they’re confident he’ll be part of their future, Keith Langlois of writes.

Coach Dwane Casey said the staff is working on the “little things” to maximize Wiseman’s growth.

“He has all the athletic skills,” Casey said. “The length, the size and that’s something that’s helped our defense, having that deterrent at the rim, that 7-footer at the rim to block shots. He’s done a good job of that. Just now learning all the little things, footwork in the post, not letting them push him off his sweet spot in the post. Command your spot. That’s what the coaches now are working on him with that.”

Wiseman had 23 points and seven rebounds in a loss to Charlotte on Monday.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • So what will the Pistons do if they don’t win the lottery and the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes? James Edwards III of The Athletic explores that scenario, predicting which players the team would select in the 2-6 range. Edwards still sees Detroit taking Scoot Henderson at No. 2 despite drafting guards Killian Hayes, Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey in the lottery the past three years. However, other teams would make significant trade offers to the Pistons if they get the No. 2 pick, Edwards notes.
  • Marvin Bagley III erupted for season highs of 21 points and 18 rebounds against Toronto on Saturday after he missed nearly two months due to a fractured right hand. After re-signing Bagley last summer, the Pistons want to see more of that on a consistent basis, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press writes. “He told on himself when he got 18 rebounds,” Casey said. “So now we’re looking for 18 rebounds (Monday) night, the next night, the next night, or close to it. Let’s be consistent.”
  • Ivey missed Monday’s game due to personal reasons,, Sankofa tweets. Fellow rookie Jalen Duren missed his second straight game with ankle soreness. Bojan Bogdanovic (Achilles soreness) and Isaiah Stewart (hip) also sat out.

NBA G League Announces 24 Players For Next Up Game

The NBA G League announced today that G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson and Timberwolves/Iowa Wolves forward Luka Garza have been named team captains for the NBAGL Next Up Game, which will take place in Salt Lake City during All-Star weekend.

While the exhibition match isn’t technically being called a G League All-Star Game, that’s essentially what it is. The 24-player pool was selected by a fan vote and by the league itself.

Henderson averaged 21.2 PPG, 6.0 APG, and 4.3 RPG in six Showcase Cup games (28.5 MPG) before missing time with an injury. The guard, widely projected to be the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, has registered 17.7 PPG, 5.7 APG, and 4.5 RPG in 11 regular season games (29.8 MPG) since returning.

Garza, meanwhile, has been dominant at the G League level while playing for the Timberwolves on a two-way contract. He averaged 29.8 PPG, 9.2 RPG, and 3.2 APG on .628/.500/.794 shooting in nine Showcase Cup games (34.4 MPG) and has been boosted those averages in two regular season games (32.5 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 5.0 APG) for the Iowa Wolves.

Here’s the full list of players who will take part in the G League Next Up Game:

(* Players marked with an asterisk are on two-way contracts with NBA teams.)

As is the case with the NBA All-Star Game, the team captains – in this case, Henderson and Garza – will select their 12-man squads in a draft. The draft for the G League Next Up Game will take place on February 14.

NBA Announces Player Pool For Rising Stars Event

The NBA officially unveiled the 28-player pool for this year’s Rising Stars event on Tuesday, making the announcement via the NBA App. The following players made the cut:



G League players:

As was the case last season, the Rising Stars event will consist of four teams and three games. The seven G League players will comprise one team, coached by longtime NBA guard Jason Terry. The other 21 players will be drafted to three squads coached by former NBA stars Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, and Deron Williams.

The four teams will be split into two first-round matchups and the winners of those two games will face one another for the Rising Stars championship. The two semifinals will be played to a target score of 40 points, while the final will be played to a target score of 25 points.

All three contests will take place on Friday, February 17 as part of All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City. The NBA’s full press release with more information on the event can be found right here.

And-Ones: G League Ignite, Henderson, Wembanyama, Thornwell

After attending the G League’s Winter Showcase in Las Vegas last week, John Hollinger of The Athletic came away curious about the long-term future of the G League Ignite.

A handful of top prospects – like Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, and Dyson Daniels – have played for the Ignite before entering the NBA draft in recent years, and current Ignite guard Scoot Henderson may end up being the best of the bunch. But many of the prospects on the Ignite’s roster only project to be borderline NBA players, as Hollinger observes.

“Why are we paying almost half a million (dollars) for a two-way guy?” one league source said to Hollinger.

Even if the Ignite were attracting only elite prospects, people around the NBA have questioned why the league is paying significant salaries to develop prospects who would simply develop elsewhere if the Ignite didn’t exist, Hollinger writes. The Ignite aren’t playing in front of packed houses and haven’t become must-see television relative to college basketball, where NIL money has helped the NCAA maintain a recruiting edge.

Hollinger adds that most people he has spoken to don’t believe the Ignite are particularly well coached or well run, with prospects like Jaden Hardy looking much better once he left the program.

For what it’s worth, Henderson told Michael Scotto of HoopsHype that he thinks his year with the Ignite has been good for him and that it has helped him develop “as a person” in addition to helping him develop as a player.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) has updated his 2023 mock draft and provided fresh scouting reports for a handful of his non-lottery prospects, including UCF’s Taylor Hendricks, Ohio State’s Brice Sensabaugh, and Pepperdine’s Maxwell Lewis.
  • According to Givony, a number of NBA executives who attended last week’s G League Winter Showcase said they wouldn’t be surprised if Scoot Henderson, who is out with a nasal fracture, doesn’t play another game this season, since his spot near the top of the 2023 draft is already assured. However, Givony says G League Ignite officials “emphatically” shot down that line of thinking and said Henderson should be back on the court relatively soon.
  • Henderson is the consensus No. 2 prospect in the 2023 class behind Victor Wembanyama, who continues to impress fans and evaluators with his two-way talent. The young French star racked up 26 points and 18 rebounds for Metropolitans 92 in his last game of the calendar year on Monday (link via ESPN).
  • After signing in October with Frutti Extra Bursaspor, veteran guard Sindarius Thornwell has mutually parted ways with the Turkish team two months later, the club announced (via Twitter). Thornwell has appeared in 160 total NBA games, but hasn’t been in the league since 2020/21, when he played for New Orleans and Atlanta.

And-Ones: Embiid, French National Team, 2023 Draft, Henderson

A native of Cameroon, Sixers star Joel Embiid also has U.S. and French citizenship, meaning his choice of which country to represent in international play will have a major impact on what the field looks like at the 2024 Olympics. Teaming up with Rudy Gobert and Victor Wembanyama would give France the world’s best frontcourt and make Les Bleus a legitimate gold medal threat.

Speaking to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, Gobert was asked about the possibility of Embiid joining the French national team and said he’d welcome the addition of the MVP runner-up. However, Gobert’s answer wasn’t unequivocal, and he said he doesn’t plan to personally recruit Embiid.

“For me the most important thing is if his heart tells him to be a part of Team France,” Gobert told Vardon. “I want him to do it for the right reasons. As long as he understands that the French national team is different than the NBA. We have rules, we have things that we do. Sometimes we all have lunch and dinner together — it’s not everybody doing their own thing. These are two different teams.

“But I think the main thing for us, for him and for me is that I want to make sure that he does it from his heart. And if he does that, I think he would be an amazing addition for our team. … It has to come from him. You are either all in, or you’re not. You can’t just show up.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The latest 2023 mock draft from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) moves Alabama’s Brandon Miller up to No. 7 and Arkansas’ Anthony Black up to No. 11. Reece Beekman has also moved into the first round, with Givony observing that the Virgina guard’s defensive ability gives him a “very high floor.”
  • Beekman also earned a spot on John Hollinger’s list at The Athletic of 10 returning NCAA players who have impressed him as potential NBA prospects. Iowa’s Kris Murray, Illinois’ Terrence Shannon, and Xavier’s Colby Jones are among the other college standouts singled out by Hollinger.
  • Mirin Fader of The Ringer takes an in-depth look at the consensus No. 2 prospect in the 2023 draft class, profiling rising G League Ignite star Scoot Henderson.
  • The NBA is now allowing sovereign wealth funds to invest in its franchises as minority stakeholders. Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic explains exactly what that means and lays out why it might be risky, noting that the league could have to make decisions on sovereign wealth funds associated with autocratic countries.

And-Ones: Henderson, Top Offseason Adds, 2022 Re-Draft

G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson, the consensus No. 2 prospect in the 2023 draft class, has been diagnosed with a nose fracture after entering the concussion protocols and missing the team’s last four games, writes Cody Taylor of Rookie Wire.

Although Henderson has already been sidelined since November 18, the injury isn’t considered a long-term one and he’s being listed as day-to-day for the time being. According to Taylor, there’s a chance Henderson will be cleared to return on Sunday when the Ignite host the South Bay Lakers.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

Draft Notes: Wembanyama, Henderson, College Prospects, Oden

With the French League season underway, Victor Wembanyama continues to display the talents that make him the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft, writes Jonathan Givony of ESPN. His Metropolitans 92 team is off to a 6-1 start with Wembanyama ranking second in the league in scoring, third in rebounding, first in blocks and fifth in usage rate.

Wembanyama is learning how to use his 7’4″ frame to his advantage, challenging shots on defense and unleashing a turnaround jumper that’s nearly impossible to defend. He’s shooting just 33% from three-point range, a drop-off from his 9-for-18 performance in two games in Las Vegas, and he’s still adapting to the more physical style of play in France, but his coach, Vincent Collet, says that’s to be expected.

“Defense is different [in the United States],” Collet said. “He has more room in the G League game. And probably the referees are protecting more. Sometimes they grab him in France. So that’s something special that didn’t happen [in Las Vegas]. I don’t think he has to play to make seven threes each game.”

Givony notes that Wembanyama will have another international test this week with two FIBA World Cup qualifiers. France will travel to Lithuania on Friday and will host Bosnia and Herzegovina next Monday.

There’s more on the 2023 draft:

  • Scoot Henderson, expected to taken second overall, is off to a more uneven start with the G League Ignite, Givony adds. He posted 25 points and seven assists in his first game, but took some questionable shots and didn’t attempt any three-pointers. He had 25 points again Sunday in his second game, but he needed 28 shots and made critical mistakes down the stretch in a one-point loss. Givony describes Henderson’s best plays as “All-Star caliber,” but says he still needs work on his decision making, especially in the half court.
  • With the college basketball season tipping off today, Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report offers a look at the best prospects and several others who could rise up draft boards by next summer. Included in Wasserman’s top tier are Arkansas’ Anthony Black and Nick Smith Jr., Baylor’s Keyonte George, Alabama’s Brandon Miller, Duke’s Dariq Whitehead and Villanova’s Cam Whitmore.
  • Former No. 1 pick Greg Oden, who’s now director of basketball operations at Butler, can understand the exposure that Wembanyama is getting at such a young age, per Dana Hunsinger Benbow of The Indianapolis Star. “Find something that you enjoy doing and stay with that and always keep that a part of you,” Oden said in offering advice to Wembanyama. “Because this journey is going to mature you a lot faster than everybody else.”