NBA draft history favors Scoot Henderson.
With Henderson’s natural talent and experience playing at the professional level, it should be a no-brainer that he will be ready to compete in the NBA from day one. Anyone who has watched him play knows that he will have less trouble adapting to the physical style of play than his peers.
But unfortunately, NBA teams have not always prioritized the right things when evaluating prospects in the draft. The idea of a team choosing a Brandon Miller over a Scoot Henderson is not an entirely new concept.
Take the 2018 NBA draft, for example. Deandre Ayton was the supposed clear number one pick. After that, many debated whether Duke’s star big man Marvin Bagley III or the international phenom Luka Doncic was the right pick at number two.
Doncic had just capped off an incredible season in Europe, where he helped Real Madrid capture the EuroLeague championship while winning the league’s MVP award. In the second-best basketball league in the entire world, he had dominated and shown himself to be more than ready to play in the NBA.
Despite this, many draft scouts and analysts were unconvinced that a European player would be a surefire star in the NBA, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. Doncic’s experience playing against professionals as a teenager proved to be worthy preparation, as he has now earned four All-NBA first team nods in his first five seasons in the league.
Scoot is in a similar situation. While it may be tempting to opt for some of the other high-end talent near the top of the draft, it is likely not a gamble that will age well.