5 takeaways as Wembanyama, Scoot Dazzle in an exhibition game originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The 2022 NBA Draft is only a few months away, but all eyes are already on 2023.
Why is this so? Let’s sum it up in four words: Victor WembanyamaScoot Henderson.
These two future prospects are playing like budding NBA stars, although they have one more season of development before they become eligible for the draft.
Vembanyama is a 7-foot-4 big man who can handle the ball and hit threes, while Henderson is an electric 6-foot-2 guard with stunning shooting and playmaking potential.
Following the G League Ignite’s 122-115 victory over the Metropolitans 92 on Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada, let’s take a look at some of the results from the entertaining contest:
Victor Wembanyama is a definite No. 1 overall prospect
That’s not to take away from Henderson’s potential, but Metropolitans’ Vembanyama is a prospect no team should pass up. Prospects 7’4 with an 8-foot wingspan rarely happens, but when you add in the fact that Wembanyama can pull up 3s, attack defense down low and score in the paint, and defend the perimeter against shiftier players, it’s a combination you can’t help but drool over.
He finished the game with 37 points, five blocks and four rebounds on 11-for-20 shooting overall, 7-for-11 from deep and 8-for-12 free throw attempts. Yes, you read that right.
Just take a look at these two plays:
Scoot Henderson has taken his game to the next level
Henderson played 11 games for the Ignite last year, but his game still needed refinement. While he’s still far from a finished product, his early returns a year later are encouraging. He’s hard to chase down because of his close-range dribble, can change direction faster than others, and has the best 3-point shot that raises the ceiling.
Add in the fact that he isn’t afraid to challenge anyone, as seen against Wembanyama, and the No. 1 option for an NBA team in the future. He finished with 28 points, nine assists, five rebounds and two steals while shooting 11-for-21 overall, 2-for-3 from long range and 4-for-6 from the charity stripe.
Hugo Besson could be a steal in the second round
After being selected No. 58 overall by the Indiana Pacers in 2022, the Milwaukee Bucks quickly swooped in to acquire his draft rights via trade. As he remains in France for the time being, Wembanyama and Henderson sweep Besson’s night under the rug. The 6-foot-5 guard dropped 18 points on 5-for-9 shooting overall and 4-for-7 from deep (his final miss was a desperation swing). Milwaukee might be working on something with the 21-year-old.
Leonard Miller struggles to find his shot
Miller, a 6-foot-10 big man with a 7-foot-2 wingspan, had a tough shot Tuesday. The 18-year-old has the tools and upside to become an intriguing power forward, but his shooting inside and beyond the arc has been lacking. Miller finished the game with eight points, eight rebounds and two assists on 4-for-15 shooting overall and 0-for-4 from deep. He has first-round potential because of his age and upside, so that’s something to learn from.
Efe Abagidi impresses from the bench
After two years at Washington State, Abagidi is looking to increase his stock with Ignite for 2023.
A 20-year-old 6-foot-10 large man has a Wingspan 7’4 and pitted it against Wembanyama and Co. His appearances for the Cougars in college did little to elevate his roster, but his tenure with the Ignite got off to a promising start. He scored 14 points and made all five of his shots while holding his own on defense. If he can develop at a steady pace, he could be a worthy second-round candidate next year.