The 2023 NBA Draft is still a ways away, but hype is building for the event due to the amount of elite talent that will be up for grabs.
Scoot Henderson is one of the top 2023 draft prospects, and based on what fans have seen so far, he seems like a truly special talent.
In fact, the 18-year-old guard is already drawing comparisons to players like Derrick Rose and Ja Morant.
“Teams absolutely love that about Henderson,” The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie wrote regarding Henderson’s mindset and attitude. “But more than that, they love his talent and athleticism. It’s hard to find a more functionally impressive athlete as a lead guard prospect. Henderson is 6-foot-2 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan, and has all sorts of pop as an athlete. His first step is lightning quick. He is a terrific leaper. But more than that, he understands how to moderate it. He changes paces at an elite level. He has poise and is a good decision-maker. His balance and body control are elite tools for someone with this kind of explosion. It permeates his game. This is why the two most popular points of comparison I hear from scouts in the NBA for Henderson are Derrick Rose and Ja Morant. Rose had a very similar level of pop prior when he was at his MVP-level best. Morant has a similarly killer mindset while mixing together playmaking and scoring at a high level.
Rose and Morant are two of the most explosive guards in recent memory, and it says a lot that Henderson is already being compared to players of that caliber.
Rose, of course, hasn’t been the same since his ACL injury in 2012, but before that setback, he was on track to be one of the league’s top players for a long time.
The former No. 1 overall pick played four seasons before his ACL tear. During that time, he earned Rookie of the Year honors, three All-Star selections and an MVP award. He also averaged 21.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game during that four-season span.
Morant, meanwhile, is just getting started at the NBA level. The 2021-22 season was his third in the league, and he was able to earn his first All-Star selection.
The youngster averaged 27.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game last season while shooting 49.3 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from deep. In the 2022 playoffs, he averaged 27.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 9.8 assists per contest.
The Georgia native recently got a chance to fact off against fellow top prospect Victor Wembanyama in an exhibition game. The two prospects did not disappoint at all.
Henderson still has a lot of growth ahead of him, but he already looks like a future star. In a few years, it’ll be interesting to revisit the comparisons linking him to Rose and Morant. By then, fans will probably have a decent idea of whether or not those comparisons still hold up.