Pelicans Reportedly Trying To Scoot Up Draft To Snag Henderson

According to Stadium NBA Insider Shams Charania, the New Orleans Pelicans could make a serious bid to move into the top three of the NBA Draft in order to select guard Scoot Henderson.

The Pelicans currently hold one pick, the 14th selection, in the draft, which will be held on June 22. With San Antonio a virtual lock to select Victor Wembanyama with the top pick, New Orleans will have to make a deal with either the Charlotte Hornets at number two, or the Portland Trail Blazers, holders of the third selection.

Draft experts have gone back and forth between Henderson and Alabama’s Brandon Miller as to who will go second, but Henderson seems to have pulled ahead in recent days.

Henderson is a 6-2 guard who has spent the last two years working with the NBA G League Ignite, the G League’s official developmental team. Henderson, a five-star prospect out of Marietta, Ga., signed with the Ignite at age 17, making him the youngest player to join the G League.

In 19 games this past season, he averaged 16.5 points, 6.8 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 42.9% from the floor and 27.5% from beyond the arc.

Henderson is viewed as the most complete point guard prospect in the draft, with his exceptional athleticism, court vision, ability to control the game, and multifaceted offensive scoring package.

Though he’s just 6-2, he has a 6-foot-9 wingspan, and has not shown any limitations as a finisher around the rim. One skill set that he would bring to the table that the Pelicans sorely need is playmaking. While the offense thrives when the ball is moving or in transition, New Orleans struggled in half court sets. Finding another capable ball handler who can create for himself and others would be a major accomplishment.

Like any guard coming into the NBA, there would be a necessary defensive adjustment and the transition for point guard is as difficult as any position in the league. The consensus seems to be that Henderson will make the adjustment sooner rather than later.

Scoot Henderson doesn’t lack for confidence, either. He continues to promote himself as the best player in this draft class, something he’s been stating since the night of the lottery.

It’s not surprising that the Pelicans would look to move their pick, with the team having nine players on the current roster with three years or less of NBA experience. David Griffin has to believe that after the franchise finished with its first winning record in five seasons, even with the large amount of injuries and adversity it faced, that the framework of a contender is in place.

Any deal would have to include at least one notable player. Zion Williamson’s recent extension, injury history, and potential, make it highly unlikely that he gets moved. That leaves some possible combination of Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, Herbert Jones, and Trey Murphy III, along with the Pelicans’ reservoir of draft picks to dangle in front of the Hornets and Blazers.

There will also probably be other suitors for those picks as well, meaning the price could only get steeper as the draft approaches.

The Pelicans are in win-now mode. And with the NBA championship race seemingly as wide open as its ever been, one major move could be the difference between the Pels soaring to the next level or once again failing to live up to their lofty expectations.


13 thoughts on “Pelicans Reportedly Trying To Scoot Up Draft To Snag Henderson

  1. I like Scoot and he is definitely best point guard probably since Ja. My only worry is that the Pels give up too much. I would hope Herb and Trey would not be packaged in any deal. If CJ were part of any deal you’d probably have to give up #14 this year and 2 other #1’s. But piano man has shown he knows how to work (some) deals. We shall see.


      1. The Ingram for #3 straight up is interesting. That would have to be a last second draft night trade.

        1. As much as I like Ingram, he is injury prone and I’d trade him in a heartbeat for #2 or #3 overall pick to get Scoot. Just that I don’t see either Charlotte or Portland doing that. They would want more and Charlotte (or Griffin) has already screwed us once with OTP.

  2. So many thoughts on this, maybe more thoughts than keys on a piano. The main one is going into year 5 of this rebuild and in serious cap trouble there isn’t much to show success/win wise. If by chance Zion were to be involved there is no way the Pelicans can accept less than Minnesota received for Rudy Gobert…absolutely no way. This also makes the CJ trade even worse especially because of the contract. Not including Herb, nor Trey.

    Interesting that for a team so tight lipped during the season especially regarding injuries that this would come out which means there is something here most probably but I digress (for now).

    1. It’s not surprising that all options are on the table with everyone having to win right now. It’s tough to imagine this being probable at this point. The Pelicans would have to give up a lot to make it worth Charlotte or Portland’s while. This is also a message that if they don’t get off to a fast start that changes are coming.

  3. I am a Hornets fan. If I am the Hornets GM, I try to get New Orleans to part with Brandon Ingram, Trey Murphy III and the 14th pick for pick 2. If the Pels say no, I say that’s cool and I just draft Scoot. Thoughts?

    1. That makes sense to me. The Hornets need wing scorers. Keep the asking price as high as possible, because there will be other offers.

    2. So BI who has been an Allstar, TM who is looking like one and the 14 pick plus the Pelicans probably need to take back a horrible contract to make the numbers work all for the chance to draft a 6’2″ guard who shoots 27% from 3. Can’t do it.

    3. BI by himself is worth more than just a #2 draft pick. But if hornets add future 1st round picks and take Dyson instead of Trey then maybe we deal. Hornets desperately need another proven star player to keep Lamelo interested more so then balking and just choose Miller or Scoot

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