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Scoot Henderson Returning from Injury Despite Rumors About Status Ahead of Draft

Erin WalshDecember 27, 2022

HENDERSON, NV - NOVEMBER 18: Scoot Henderson #0 of the G League Ignite prepares to shoot a free throw during the game against the Salt Lake City Stars on November 18, 2022 at The Dollar Loan Center in Henderson, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Jeff Bottari/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/NBAE via Getty Images

Scoot Henderson is widely expected to be one of the top three picks in the 2023 NBA draft, and despite rumors that he could potentially sit out the remainder of the G League season with an injury, he's returning to the court Tuesday night.

NBA G League @nbagleague

Scoot is BACK! πŸ”₯<br><br>Top 2023 NBA Draft prospect Scoot Henderson returns from an 11-game absence and will play for <a href="https://twitter.com/gleagueignite?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@gleagueignite</a> in tonight's Regular Season Opener against the <a href="https://twitter.com/OntClippers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OntClippers</a>. Watch it live at 10 pm/et on ESPN+. <a href="https://t.co/62wIjY8Ro0">pic.twitter.com/62wIjY8Ro0</a>

ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported Tuesday that a number of NBA executives believed Henderson, who hasn't played since Nov. 18 because of a concussion following a nasal fracture, will sit out the remainder of the 2022-23 G League season because of the ailments.

Henderson's team, the G League Ignite, "shot down" that belief, saying he "is an elite competitor who refuses to entertain that type of discussion and will be back on the court soon," per Givony.

Wembanyama is expected to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick, and Henderson is in line to go second overall.

Henderson is in his second season with the Ignite. In six games before being sidelined by injury, the guard averaged 21.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.7 steals while shooting 48 percent from the floor and 47.1 percent from deep.

It marks a solid improvement from 2021-22 when he averaged 14 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals in 11 games on 43.6 percent shooting from the floor and 17.4 percent from beyond the arc.

In a recent interview with Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Henderson described how his G League experience has helped him develop into a better player:

"I feel like it helped me develop as a person. I have a lot of time off of the court being a pro. Basketball is basically a job and something you've got to perfect. It just helped me find out who I was and learn a bunch off the court, and it gave me that pro mindset heading to the next level."

NBA executives and scouts have compared Henderson to Donovan Mitchell, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and John Wall, but he told Scotto that he hopes to play like a combination of different players:

"I want to be like Andre Miller with the pace and the ability to see the floor. Pass like Chris Paul and be smart. On a skillset level, I want to be like Damian Lillard. I want to be a clash of all those guys. On defense, be like Jrue Holiday. I watch all of their film and try to be that one whole player."

While Wembanyama is the prized jewel of the 2023 draft class, one lucky team is going to get a great consolation prize in Henderson.