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Should Scoot Henderson Start for the Trail Blazers?

Does a 19-year-old rookie get reps in the starting slot, or take it slow off the bench?

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Scoot Henderson is in a learning year. It’s important that any discussion about what his long-term impact could be as an NBA player be firmly rooted in his development and improvement, and not necessarily his counting stats.

In that vein, there has been some chatter (see Adrian Bernecich’s discussion of Henderson vs. Anfernee Simons, plus other non-Blazer’s Edge columnists and social media discussion here, here, and here, for example) that Henderson is better suited to a bench role as a 19-year-old rookie point guard.

Do the stats bear that out? Sort of: he’s averaging close to the same as a starter (13.6 points, 3.5 boards, 5.6 assists) as he is off the bench (11.6 points, 2.8 boards, 4.3 assists). However, his shooting is worse in a starting role (35% and 30% from deep) than in a reserve role (37% and 30% from deep). Stats-wise, the big eye-popper is that he’s a +0.1 as a bench player, but yogurt-curdling -26.7 as a starter.

But again, stats don’t really matter; what matters is his development, and whatever helps that along should probably be what the team does. So we wanted to ask you:

Should Scoot Henderson be starting in order to learn the game as a starter, understand the rhythm and what’s expected of him, and go through growing pains? Or should he come off the bench until his skills are sharpened, his confidence grows, and he demonstrates he’s ready to impact winning, even for a team that doesn’t necessarily want to win?

Or maybe there’s another compelling reason you feel strongly he should either be riding the pine or be in the starting lineup?

Let us know in the comments below!