This summer the Portland roster has being undergoing a rebuild as they expect to enter a new era for the franchise. Even though they are handling Damian Lillard’s trade request this offseason, they’ve been dedicating most of their time to develop their rising stars in Anfernee Simons and newcomer Scoot Henderson.
Head coach Chauncey Billups is particularly excited to prepare his younger core for the time ahead, as he’s convinced that this is the road towards a brighter future.
The Blazers trainer, who was once a third overall pick himself, has shared his take on coaching top prospect Henderson this upcoming campaign.
Portland Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups says it is a personal responsibility to mentor his rookie Scoot Henderson into stardom as they are both third-overall picks. #sports #SportsNews https://t.co/pdajcLFeqp
— Sports World News (@SportsWN) July 18, 2023
“It’s personal for me,” Billups shared. “Cause I just remember myself being that dude, third pick in the draft. The expectations. I want to give Scoot what I needed at the time. I can do that. I’ve done everything he wants to do in this league. I struggled mightily early, which I don’t see that happening with him. He’ll jump a lot faster than I did. But I knew what I needed. And I’m going to be that for him.”
The Portland coach explained his plan to develop this draft’s No. 3 pick into becoming a future star, starting with his rookie season. Billups insisted in the need to deeply invest themselves in the process, as patience is key to Henderson’s evolution.
“He’s (Blazers rookie Scoot Henderson) going to play the game the right way, he’s going to play it for the team,” he expressed. “The big picture is, Scoot’s going to be a star in this league. But I’m not going to let him skip those steps. And he’s going to be probably upset with me some days because I won’t let him skip those steps, but he’s always going to be appreciative.
“The kid is special. He’s going to be a really good player in this league.”
The Trail Blazers were expecting that Lillard would be interested in sharing the court alongside Scoot Henderson, but it hasn’t been the case.
Henderson’s teammates recognize his potential after sharing only three weeks in Portland
Just as the Trail Blazers played through the Summer League, the team’s roster is just starting to get to know some of the newcomers, including the top prospect who recently came from the G League Ignite.
Jabari Walker, who was one of the most impressive players in last year’s Las Vegas summer championship, only has words of praise for Henderson after getting his first impressions of him in recent practices.
“He is not selfish at all. He’s a true point guard,” the 20-year-old said about his new teammate.
Portland’s John Jenkins, who also played in Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, Washington and New York before joining the Ignite, reveals that Scoot gets better every day.
“His playmaking has taken a leap this year. He knows when to pick his spots, slow down, pick his spots, when to get someone else involved. All the things he needs in the league, he got better at,” he assured.
Source: Basketball Insider