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Blazers’ ‘Immediate Focus’ is Scoot Henderson’s Development

Scoot Henderson could become the next franchise cornerstone for the Portland Trail Blazers.

2023 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

With the Damian Lillard era slowly coming to an end, the Portland Trail Blazers are soon set to find themselves in a total rebuild.

Luckily, they have a strong launching pad in the building already with No. 3 overall pick Scoot Henderson, who Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman believes is the centerpiece for Portland moving forward.

The Blazers will try to hold out for a better offer in Damian Lillard trade talks, but they’ll eventually have to accept something. It’s difficult to picture Lillard playing in Portland again, particularly after the Blazers just spent the No. 3 overall pick on point guard Scoot Henderson.

Projecting the 2023-24 Blazers means envisioning a rotation led by a rookie ball-handler and Anfernee Simons and Jerami Grant as top-two options. Portland’s immediate focus will be on Henderson’s development, whatever it gets in return for Lillard and its 2024 draft pick, which has a good chance of being in the top five.

While the Blazers aren’t yet in position to worry about fit, they’ll still be hoping to balance out the roster with young frontcourt talent to develop.

The Blazers are certainly in a state of flux, but if they prioritize Henderson’s development over wins for the next season or two, Portland could find themselves back in the postseason sooner than expected.

BE community, do you agree with Wasserman’s take? Chime off in the comments section below.