With the third overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers used their pick to select Scoot Henderson. There was a vast amount of speculation leading up to the draft that the Trail Blazers would trade the pick for a star in a last-ditch attempt to build a contending team around Damian Lillard. However, even with Portland using their pick to select the very promising guard, they still have not traded Lillard from their team.
If Portland does not end up trading Lillard from the team, Henderson will have a very tough time fitting on the Trail Blazers. He is a ball-dominant guard, as is Lillard. Both of their games heavily rely on being able to take a high volume of shots. Along with this, both players are too small to play the shooting guard position.
However, the team is very likely to deal with Lillard from the team before the season begins. Once the deal takes place, Henderson will be the focal point of the Trail Blazers offense. He has the potential to be an incredible player and scouts have compared him to Russell Westbrook and Derick Rose.
While his outside shot needs some work, Henderson is an unstoppable force around the basket. His elite athleticism makes him unguardable at the rim, and he is an elite dunker. Once Lillard is traded, Henderson and Anfernee Simons have the potential to be one of the strongest backcourts in the new era.
The Trail Blazers will be forced to go into a full-scale rebuild once Lillard is dealt from the team. As a result of this, Henderson will have a few years to better round out his game before the front office is able to put a playoff-caliber team around him.
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