NBA Draft: Spurs would see Scoot Henderson as much more than consolation prize

Scoot Henderson - 2023 NBA All Star - Jordan Rising Stars Game
Scoot Henderson - 2023 NBA All Star - Jordan Rising Stars Game / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages
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How the Spurs should build around Henderson

You’ll find most of Henderson’s strengths and areas for improvement we listed on other outlets’ profiles on him as well, as I generally agree with the consensus on his abilities. But things get more philosophical and subjective when bringing team-building into the conversation. Regardless, with Henderson becoming the Spurs’ centerpiece if they were to select him in the draft, the supporting cast is something Spurs fans ought to consider.

First and foremost, continuing to build defensive infrastructure will be key for the Spurs if Henderson joined the team. I’m a bit higher on Henderson’s individual defensive upside than most, as he has all the physical, athletic, and instinctual tools to be more effective than he’s given credit for both on and off the ball. 

But having high-level perimeter defenders with good length like Jeremy Sochan and Devin Vassell next to Henderson is advisable long-term to take some pressure away from him on that end of the floor. And perhaps even more importantly, adding a high-level rim protector to the rotation should allow Henderson more freedom to take risks on the perimeter and create transition opportunities. 

On the other end of the floor, Henderson would benefit in a big way by having a talented screener and play-finisher at his disposal. Charles Bassey is likely the Spurs’ best young candidate to fill that kind of a role, especially considering the team had enough confidence in him to give him a multi-year contract, but I highly doubt that would stop the team from looking for more players in free agency or the draft that can fill that role.

I’ve been alluding to it here, but if I were forced to choose a single player archetype that would make a lot of sense next to Henderson, it’s a stretch five, similar to how Jaren Jackson Jr. complements Ja Morant on the Memphis Grizzlies. Such a player would obviously be great to have with or without Henderson on the roster, but in theory, a defensive-minded stretch five that can match up with other bigs in the paint on both ends of the floor would likely maximize Henderson’s strengths and vice versa. 

Next. 7 Players the Spurs gave up on too soon. dark