Paolo Banchero, Scoot Henderson Headline 2023 NBA Rising Stars Player Pool

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 31, 2023

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 30: Paolo Banchero #5 of the Orlando Magic dribbles the ball during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on January 30, 2023 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 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 the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero and expected top-five draft pick Scoot Henderson headline the pool of players set for the 2023 NBA Rising Stars Challenge.

The NBA released the full list of players Tuesday on its app.

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

2022-23 NBA Rising Stars at All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City: <a href="https://t.co/4jbg1Mo02d">pic.twitter.com/4jbg1Mo02d</a>

"Anytime you can get a chance to be a part of All-Star Weekend, you can't say no," Banchero said of the selection. "Especially me, being a rookie, first year, never experienced it before, it's always been the dream to just be a part of that whether it was Rising Stars or as a reserve. I'm definitely excited to get there and just see what it's like."

Banchero is the overwhelming favorite to win Rookie of the Year, posting averages of 20.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game for the upstart Magic. With teammate Franz Wagner also in the mix, Orlando has two of the most promising players set to participate in this year's Rising Stars event.

Henderson will draw the most interest from scouts in attendance, given he's a mortal lock to be the No. 2 pick in the 2023 draft behind Victor Wembanyama. The G League Ignite guard is in his second season with the club after bypassing his senior high school season to play professionally. He's averaging 19.0 points, 6.1 assists and 4.9 rebounds this season while flashing elite athleticism and finishing skills off the bounce.

While there is little chance he surpasses Wembanyama as the top pick in June's draft, Henderson is the type of prospect who would have been the No. 1 selection in most recent drafts.

The Rising Stars Challenge is now a mini-tournament of sorts, featuring four teams of seven players. The 21 NBA players are divided onto teams coached by Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah and Deron Williams, and seven players from the G League will be coached by Jason Terry.

Once the teams are split, they will play in semifinals games with a target score of 40. The winners of those games will move on to the finals, playing a game to 25.