NBA Draft: The Pros and Cons of Drafting Scoot Henderson to the Detroit Pistons


We’ve hit a bit of a slump in the NBA season as All-Star ballots have been released and most teams’ expectations have become clearer. As for the Pistons—you can call it déjà vu—but their playoff hopes have been dashed before the new year begins. to NBA Draft Addicts, that means it’s another early spring.


Since news broke that Cade Cunningham would miss the rest of the season with a left leg injury, the imperative of a full development/tank season (whatever you want to call it) was underway, despite some pre-season hopes for a potential play-in.

The disappointment behind losing the top overall draft pick in 2021 has only been quelled as hope grows of reaching what some are calling the best prospect since Victor Wimpanyama’s LeBron James with the top overall draft pick in 2023. The Frenchman’s quirky charm is well documented. And it would take more than a serious injury to prevent a team from taking him with the first pick in this year’s draft.

If the NBA didn’t have a draft lottery, we might have seen record low win totals for many teams. Fortunately, the system should keep it somewhat competitive in the short term, but don’t be surprised to see some late-season dives.

What is clear now from how the current rosters are built is that Detroit has one of their youngest and most awful without Cunningham and should be in good shape running for a Final Five pick.

If you are not familiar with how lottery odds work, the worst record is far from guaranteeing the best overall selection. In fact, teams with the three lowest win totals receive the same probability of being named the No. 1 overall pick (14 percent). These teams will also have the same probability of receiving second (13.4 percent), third (12.7 percent), and fourth (12.0 percent) picks.

For the team that didn’t qualify for the Wembenyama Sweepstakes and got the second pick, they could probably be greeted with what also might be the best consolation prize we’ve seen in a long time in Scoot Henderson.

By all accounts, Henderson would be the better overall pick in most other recent drafts and has drawn comparisons to the likes of John Wall and Derrick Rose. An eccentric athlete with a league-ready frame, the combo guard uses speed and power to easily attack the edge and set up his teammates.

In most situations in the NBA, if you have a chance to get the best talent out there, don’t think twice. However, with Detroit taking ball-dominant guards (Hayes, Cunningham and Ivey) with their first picks in each of the last three drafts, the possibility of at least two other options should be considered. If we’ve learned anything from Troy Weaver up to this point, it’s that he’ll go out of his way to evaluate all options to make this team even better, whether the fan base is there or not. Still, it’s not outlandish to think that Detroit will do its due diligence.

So let’s run the premise and assume the Pistons landed at pick #2. Here are some pros and cons of what Henderson’s addition to the roster might mean for the current team as it looks today in mid-January.

Pros of Henderson’s formulation

Get the best talent available:

There is not much discussion about this. Many team executives are watching the draft to start with the No. 3 pick, as Henderson has established himself as the second best overall talent.

For the G-League Ignite this season, Henderson averages 19 points, 6.1 assists, and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 45% from the floor and 25% from three. His shot outside may be the biggest question mark, but his 75.7 percent from the free throw line indicates room for improvement. He may be a little smaller for a modern head guard at 6-foot-2, but he makes up for it and some with Morant-/prime Westbrook’s athleticism.

Henderson’s drafting and later discovery could end up being the better option here if that’s the way it is. Three-guard formations are becoming more common in positional basketball today, but the lack of shooting guards among the Pistons’ guards (and the team as a whole) is still troubling.

It looks like Detroit is still a few years away from the competition, so the idea of ​​drafting for fit shouldn’t be at the forefront. But, you have to wonder if Henderson’s drafting would open the door to perhaps even trading one of the other young guards to appease the backcourt jam. Cunningham and Ivey both have high value in their young careers and Weaver loves the element of surprise.

Insurance is offered in case of injury:

This really applies to all three guards, as they will all provide additional insurance for each other. Even if the Pistons decide to re-sign Killian Hayes (who has shown improvement), having three point guards at their starting level will allow them to avoid changing their playing style too much if one goes down.

As Pistons fans have been told this season, one major injury can significantly derail the team’s prospects, as happened when Cunningham was injured.

With each player’s style, it would be beneficial to add coverage in the event of another injury. Ivey and Henderson play a similar fast-paced style where they seem to be constantly flying through the air and crashing into the ground. Since taking advantage last season, Cunningham has been playing a more bully ball style to create separation and get into the paint – causing a lot of contact with every play.

Injuries are inevitable, and available depth plays a role in developing a winning culture. No team ever plans a spare, but added depth is never a bad thing.

Cons to Henderson’s formulation

Clear log jams in the main guard:

We’ve seen some situations where having three good goalkeepers plays into the game for teams. 2020 Oklahoma City Thunder It almost made a Western Conference playoff run loaded with Chris Paul, Shay Gilgos Alexander, and Dennis Schroeder ruling the minutes. Offensively, the trio had the second-best offensive rating in the NBA (128.2) and their 67.7 percent true shooting percentage was the best among a three-player lineup in the league that season.

The problem with the trio of Cunningham, Ivey and Henderson is that on paper they are not the most complementary to each other. There are none of the great players up to this point who haven’t proven themselves quite as effective off the ball. While Ivey has seen his role as head football coach increase since Cunningham’s exit, this year should have been a growing season for the two to get a feel for each other. Now, they’ll have to wait to develop that chemistry and add another ball-dominant keeper who will create a whole new wrinkle.

Miss a chance to craft the future wing:

While the consensus is that there has been a decline in talent after Henderson, there are other prospects that fit nicely with the Pistons youth trend. Players like Brandon Miller of Alabama and Villanova Cam Whitmore fits the bill with long, silky wings that can put the ball in the basket. Miller, in particular, has been the most productive freshman in college basketball this year shooting 44.5% from three. He fit seamlessly between the crowd of young and senior guards currently on Detroit’s roster.

Other players to make shop at the top of the draft boards are the Thompson twins in the G-League Overtime Elite. Amen plays the lead goaltender, but he’s a very versatile sports scorer who will enter the league’s top 1 percent of athletes. His brother, Osar, plays more as a winger and is not quite as athletic as Amen but has hit the ball better so far. Both players have a huge height.

The possibility of drafting a winger may also come down to what Detroit chooses to do with the winger already on their roster. Bey’s friend has a team option pending, and Bojan Bogdanovic’s name has been swirling in trade rumors for weeks now. The team also has plenty of cap space and could be looking to spend it on a veteran.

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