Did Blazers' Scoot Henderson get snubbed from an NBA All-Rookie selection?

Trail Blazers No. 3 overall pick Scoot Henderson didn't make an NBA All-Rookie Team, but should he have?
Mar 29, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson (00)
Mar 29, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson (00) / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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Portland Trail Blazers guard and No. 3 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, Scoot Henderson, missed out on the NBA All-Rookie teams that were recently announced. Here are the ten selections that were voted in over Henderson:

2023-24 NBA All-Rookie First Team:

  • Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs
  • Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Brandon Miller, Charlotte Hornets
  • Jaime Jaquez Jr., Miami Heat
  • Brandin Podziemski, Golden State Warriors

2023-24 NBA All-Rookie Second Team:

  • Dereck Lively II, Dallas Mavericks
  • Amen Thompson, Houston Rockets
  • Keyonte George, Utah Jazz
  • Cason Wallace, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • GG Jackson II, Memphis Grizzlies

The question begs, did Henderson get snubbed? Well, one voter who gave Henderson a first-place vote certainly thinks so.

Henderson finished with 33 total voting points, missing an All-Second Team selection by a decent margin.

The case for Henderson making an NBA All-Rookie team

The Blazers rookie had such an up-and-down season that it's hard to know precisely where his season measures up against his fellow draft class members. But Henderson's general stats suggest that he finished in the top ten, at the very least. He finished the season averaging 14 points, 5.4 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. Among rookies, Henderson was first in assists per game, fourth in minutes per game, and fifth in points per game. He also was the first Blazers rookie since Damian Lillard to have multiple 30-point games.

Entering the league, Henderson wasn't as set up for success as some of the All-Rookie selections were. Portland was the worst team in the Western Conference, which could cause some to write off his numbers as "empty stats." However, Portland's roster isn't well-equipped to play to Henderson's strengths, which makes his rookie season more impressive.

For instance, Henderson is an underrated playmaker who is already great at collapsing defenses on his drives and making the right read with his court vision.

However, on Henderson's drives, teams didn't have much incentive to stay out on Portland's shooters. The Blazers were dead last in three point percentage, meaning help defenders would leave the Blazers shooters more frequently to help contest Henderson's drives. This not only hurt Henderson's assist totals, but also played a role in his poor efficiency finishing around the rim.

Henderson's status as a top-three draft pick also plays a role in his rookie season narrative. Compared to Victor Wembanyama and Brandon Miller, the first two picks, Henderson had a relatively disappointing rookie season. Would he have received more votes if he had been selected outside the lottery and still finished the season averaging 14 points and 5.4 assists? There may be a case to make.

The Blazers rookie had a slow start transitioning to the NBA, but he was too quickly labeled a "bust," and the narrative on him never changed as he continued to get better throughout the season.