Scoot Henderson may be the NBA’s next rising star, but has hidden flaws

NBA Draft prospect Scoot Henderson (Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports)
NBA Draft prospect Scoot Henderson (Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports) /
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NBA Draft
NBA Draft prospect Scoot Henderson (Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports) /

Scoot Henderson’s high-level scoring and passing

Scoot Henderson’s most intriguing quality is his ability to handle a large offensive load and produce a high volume of offense as a scorer and passer.

Last season, he had a usage rate of 27.9% and averaged 23.4 points per 40 minutes. He also had an assist rate of 31.6% and an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.91. These are impressive numbers, especially for a 19-year-old guard playing vs. fringe NBA-level competition.

These numbers matter because they show us that Henderson can potentially be a number one option who produces at a high level as a scorer and passer.

Prospects with this kind of production profile are the types of players who become offensive engines in the NBA. Since 2019, three guard prospects had a usage rate of 25%, an assist rate of 30%, and averaged 20 points per 40 minutes. This includes Sharife Cooper, LaMelo Ball, and Ja Morant. Cooper has struggled to find his place in the NBA, but both Ball and Morant are All-Stars who have become strong offensive players for their respective teams.

Now let’s take a look at some NBA players who matched this level of production this season. During the regular season, eight players had a usage rate of 25%, an assist rate of 30%, and averaged at least 20 points per 36 minutes.

Here are those players:

  • Luka Doncic
  • Stephen Curry
  • Damian Lillard
  • Ja Morant
  • James Harden
  • Trae Young
  • Jrue Holiday
  • Darius Garland
  • LaMelo Ball

This is clearly a great mold for a prospect, and if Henderson can continue producing at this level, there’s a good shot he will become an All-Star with a chance of becoming an All-NBA caliber player.

Luckily for him, there are reasons to believe he can keep up this offensive output. Henderson has a lot of skills and traits that should translate to the NBA, including his ability to shoot from mid-range and finish at the rim.

Although mid-range shots have been just about outlawed in the modern era of basketball, they’re still an efficient shot if a player is really good at them. Also, being able to hit mid-range shots gives players another avenue to attack opposing defenses, making them more difficult to stop. Having a nice mid-range game will make Henderson extremely difficult to contain in pick-and-roll actions.

Henderson also has the tools to be a quality rim finisher in the NBA. He is a very good athlete who can play above the rim, and he shot around 51% on two-pointers during the 2021 season.

Moving to the other end of the floor, Henderson has the potential to be a solid defender at some point. Although he is a short point guard at just 6-foot-2, he has a remarkable 6-foot-9 wingspan, giving him excellent length for his height.

He also displayed the ability to disrupt passing lanes in the G-League, recording a steal rate of 2.9% during the 2021 season. At 6-foot-2, Henderson will likely never have a massive impact on the defensive end of the floor, but he has the length, athleticism, and instincts to be somewhat productive as a defender.

Now that we’ve gone over his strengths, let’s look at his weaknesses, which, in my opinion, have been way under-discussed by most draft analysts.