The New Orleans Pelicans are reportedly high on the G-League Ignite’s Scoot Henderson, an uber-athletic point guard prospect who is currently a consensus top-three pick, with the majority of draft analysts having him second.
Henderson’s blend of physical dominance, court vision, and finishing ability project him to be a high-level two-way presence from day one, and his encouraging midrange shooting gives him the potential to be an elite three-level scorer in the NBA one day.
Since acquiring CJ McCollum and Larry Nance Jr., the Pelicans have hoped to build a championship-contending roster around their superstar duo of Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.
The one thing holding them back, aside from the penchant for injury from their stars, is the lack of a true table-setter for their offense.
While McCollum has performed admirably as a lead guard, his season and a half in New Orleans has proven why Damian Lillard was the point guard for all those years they played together on the Portland Trail Blazers.
While CJ can effectively create offense for himself and others at times, his best position is obviously as a scorer.
Drafting a lead guard who can repeatedly put pressure on the rim, collapse defenses, and open up either shooting pockets or cutting lanes for his teammates will take a significant load off of McCollum’s shoulders on offense and bring the best out of him, Ingram, Zion, and the rest of the Pelicans role players.
Should the Celtics give Jaylen Brown a 5-year $295 million dollar extension? pic.twitter.com/O1QmZFCR8w
— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) May 30, 2023
The problem is that Henderson is likely to be gone after the third pick, and possibly even the second. Unfortunately, the Pelicans won’t be picking until 14, the last selection in the lottery.
The good news is that the Portland Trail Blazers own the third-overall pick and are rumored to be shopping it around the league in exchange for a package that would help Damian Lillard return to the playoffs and contend for a title.
New Orleans has plenty of tradeable assets, both currently on the roster and in terms of future draft ammunition.
If the Pelicans are serious about Henderson and the Blazers are truly open to moving the selection, there’s no reason that New Orleans wouldn’t be able to put together an enticing enough package to swing the deal, even while keeping both of their young stars in Ingram and Williamson.
Between the 14th pick and their smorgasbord of young role players such as Herbert Jones, Trey Murphy III, and Dyson Daniels, the Pellies have plenty to offer that could help Portland contend for a title next season.
Scoot working out with Steph ahead of the NBA Draft 👀
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 15, 2023
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| Title: New Orleans Pelicans could trade with the Trail Blazers for Scoot Henderson
| Author: Andy Quach
| Date: June 19th, 2023