Gearing toward NBA Draft season, the Detroit Pistons may be in one of the more interesting spots in the whole league. The ideal outcome is to win the lottery, guaranteeing the right to pick generational talent Victor Wembanyama. But, if Detroit lands at two, they may have some more thinking to do. The slam dunk second ranked prospect is G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson. However, Alabama’s 6-foot-9 freshman wing Brandon Miller could be a better fit.
Brandon Miller is having a sensational freshman season with the Tide, scoring 18.7 points along with grabbing 8.2 boards per game. He’s also shooting 42.5 percent from three on over seven attempts per game.
Henderson, who would likely be the No. 1 pick in any year where there isn’t a Wembanyama on the board, is having a nice season himself. Scoot is averaging 17.7 points, 5.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds with the Ignite during their regular season. While his field goal splits are nearly identical to Miller’s, Henderson is only shooting 28 percent from three on just over two attempts per game.
Henderson isn’t expected to come into the NBA and shoot the lights out from deep, however 3-point shooting is something that he needs to develop further over time.
While competing in the Jordan Rising Stars event at NBA All-Star weekend, Henderson scored four points off of 1-for-5 shooting, including 0-for-2 from three. He also recorded two assists and two steals. A fairly underwhelming performance for the young guard while going up against NBA competition, including the likes of Evan Mobley and Josh Giddey.
There shouldn’t be too much weight that goes into Scoot’s Rising Stars performance. The athleticism and quickness that he has shown through his development with the G League Ignite program is second to none. Henderson may very well be the next special point guard in the NBA.
However, if the Detroit Pistons are picking at two, they may have some serious debate between Henderson and Miller.
After selecting Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey in the past two drafts, the franchise seems to have their backcourt of the future.
Where the Pistons are seriously lacking is depth and talent on the wing. Miller fits the bill to immediately fill that need, where another young guard may not make sense if added to the current roster.
Would the Detroit Pistons select Brandon Miller over Scoot Henderson?
There is a lot that can change between now and draft night.
Henderson is the clear number two prospect as of now, which I expect to still be the case throughout the pre-draft process. He just seems to be in a fully different tier compared to Miller.
Where Henderson shines is his athleticism, scoring ability and facilitation. He then currently leaves more to wish for on the defensive end of the floor, as well as his 3-point shooting, which I expect to develop over time.
Miller is a great 3-point shooter and on-ball defender. He can help the Pistons in those two aspects of the game immediately, where they severely need the support.
His size allows him to guard multiple positions on the floor, which is beneficial in Detroit’s scheme.
I’d say that Miller is currently the best true fit for the Pistons within the entire upcoming draft class. He addresses team needs in a way that Henderson doesn’t.
Even so, Scoot may be too good of a prospect to pass up on.
Putting my GM hat on, if I was in the driver’s seat picking at No. 2, I’d select Henderson and figure it out from there. Even with an already young and potential star backcourt in Cunningham and Ivey.
If the Pistons end up with that guard loaded trio, the situation may make Ivey expendable. I’d hate to give up on Ivey so soon. But, if he allows you to bring back a 3-and-D wing that fits into the young core, GM Troy Weaver could pull the trigger.
Passing on a player like Henderson could lead to some regret down the road, depending on the player he turns out to be. I wouldn’t want to take that risk with how good of a prospect he already is.
If Detroit lands the two spot in the lottery, they have a potential franchise altering decision to make.
Should they get number three, Weaver may just sit back and smile, letting Miller fall into his lap.
I don’t expect Miller to pass Henderson on big boards leading up to the draft, even if his stellar play continues. Either way, should the Pistons land in the top three, they will have the opportunity to add a player with future star potential to their budding core.