Portland Trail Blazers rookie Scoot Henderson has been thrown right into the fire to start his NBA career, even if that’s not what was intended.
The Blazers drafted Henderson with the No. 3 overall pick with the intention to be the team’s point guard of the future, but they maybe didn’t anticipate the future to come so soon. Weeks after Portland drafted Henderson, Damian Lillard requested a trade, and he was dealt just before the start of training camp.
That has propelled Henderson to the starting lineup, and he’s been one of the few rookies given an opportunity to start from Day 1. However, the numbers haven’t translated yet. He’s averaging 8.8 points and 4.6 assists per game, good enough to place him at No. 8 in Yahoo! Sports rookie rankings.
It’s been a relatively quiet start for Henderson as the Blazers find their way in the post-Damian Lillard era. The young core of Henderson, Anfernee Simons, Shaedon Sharpe and Deandre Ayton looks great on paper but might take some time to translate to the court. Henderson’s biggest area of development entering the league was his 3-point shot and he’s struggled early on, shooting 2-for-21 in the first five games. Every rookie has growing pains, and Henderson is performing well in the areas he excels. He’s dynamic in the open court and is one of the best facilitators in this draft class, leading all rookies in assists with 4.6 per game.
Once Henderson gets his 3-point shot going and the game begins to slow down for him, perhaps he will see a jump in the next rookie rankings.
Henderson and the Blazers are back in action tomorrow night against the Sacramento Kings. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT at the Golden 1 Center.