While some are already fitting French phenom Victor Wembanyama for his Hall of Fame jacket, one NBA team executive had high praise for another 2023 draft prospect.
The Athletic's Mike Vokunov reported the executive saw shades of Russell Westbrook and John Wall when watching the NBA G League Ignite's Scoot Henderson.
Henderson, for his part, shied away from any comparisons with current NBA stars:
"No, I want to have my own career. Where people are saying like 'You're having Scoot's career' or whatever. I want to go down my own path. I don't want to try to follow up anybody. Of course, Russell Westbrook and John Wall are great players. Great guards, leaders. But I just want to make my own path."
In seven NBA G League appearances, the 18-year-old is averaging 21.0 points and 6.4 assists while shooting 49.5 percent from the field.
Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projected Henderson to go second overall to the Charlotte Hornets in his most recent mock draft:
"Explosive finishing, dribble creativity, mid-range scoring/shot-making, improved three-point shooting and enough playmaking have helped paint Henderson as the draft's second No. 1 overall talent. Improving as a decision-maker (shot selection and turnovers) stands out as the only important area he'll need to prioritize early in the pros."
Because their individual fortunes have declined so drastically in recent years, it's easy to overlook how flattering a comparison to Wall or Westbrook is.
The former made a run of five straight All-Star appearances and at his peak averaged 23.1 points and 10.7 assists. The latter is a nine-time All-Star, former NBA MVP and a member of the league's 75th-anniversary team who averaged a triple-double four times over a five-year stretch.
Wembanyama looks like a truly generational prospect. He'll need to fill out his 7'2", 229-pound frame a bit, but he does things a player of his size shouldn't be able to pull off.
But the extent to which Wembanyama has dominated the 2023 NBA draft discourse has allowed Henderson's potential to fly under the radar a bit. Sure, winning the draft lottery will be great, but imagine the consolation prize for landing the No. 2 overall pick was getting to select a John Wall or Russell Westbrook-type talent.
It could be a bit like the 2019 NBA draft. Zion Williamson was widely considered the best player available that year, and he has lived up to the hype when healthy. For the Memphis Grizzlies, losing out on Williamson and settling for Ja Morant with the second pick has worked out pretty well nonetheless.
The same could hold true for whoever is in a position to take Henderson this summer.