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Film Don’t Lie: Victor Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson, Dariq Whitehead

The 1st 3-player breakdown for 2023 NBA Draft Prospects

Photo by Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto via Getty Images

With a new NBA season about to dawn, it is a great time to take one final deep breath of the summer offseason and think about the not-so-immediate future. More specifically, I’m talking about the 2023 NBA Draft prospects. We don't know how the Detroit Pistons season will unfold. It could be the play-in tournament, or it could be vying for one of the following names. It makes sense, then, to at least be familiar with what the 2023 NBA Draft has to offer.

This will be the 1st of a multi-part series where I will break down three possible prospects for the 2023 NBA Draft. For my series, I will not be looking at any players that were in college last season, though our own Steve Pelletier may have those breakdowns for you in the future. I will instead focus on a few players taking the nontraditional route to the NBA and the crop of HS seniors.

To start this series, I went with the project No. 1 overall pick from France, Victor Wembanyama. The one player who as it stands right now may have the chance to take that #1 overall pick from Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson. And one of the many top recruits for Duke this upcoming season, Dariq Whitehead.

For these breakdowns, I will give just a paragraph or two of my overall thoughts on the prospect accompanied by my video breakdown on each. I do want to make a note that with ALL of the prospects in this series, I had varying levels of access to stats, information, and film. I try to highlight and note where I got stats from, if I had access to one game, just HS film, or maybe access to other leagues they played.

I also want to emphasize that these breakdowns are solely my evaluation of these prospects as players but not specifically for the Detroit Pistons. We have no idea how some of the Pistons’ young core will develop or where they will land in next year’s Draft. I simply wanted to give fans and readers of DBB a little insight into who these prospects are right now with the understanding that they have almost a full year of growth ahead of them.

Real Madrid v LDLC Asvel Villeurbanne - Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Photo by Angel Martinez/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

Victor Wembanyama

7-foot-4 - France - 18 years old (Turns 19 on Jan. 4, 2023)

STATS - 29 Games (18 MPG), 8.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 0.6 APG, 1.6 TOPG, 0.7 SPG, 1.9 BPG, 42% FG, 28% from 3, 69% FT (2021-2022 EuroLeague and France LNB Pro A)

Offensively, Wembanyama is a fluid athlete with a developing shot who looks to be able to do some things off movement and off the dribble. I like the skill level he shows with the ball in his hands, but at his height, you can understand the occasional loose dribble. I felt like he dribbled to get to his pull-up jumper more than getting all the way to the rim, but that mentality may change as he gets stronger. He will have incredible gravity in the lane as a pick-and-roll lob threat, dunker-spot player, on cuts, offensive rebounds, etc. I also love his ability to get out in transition and run the floor, and I am interested to see how his post-up game develops from where it is right now which is usually a left/right shoulder fadeaway jump shot.

Defensively, the impact he could provide is “elite.” His length is disruptive in all areas of the floor as a guy who can protect the rim but also create deflections and turnovers by being in passing lanes or active on the ball. I think there will be a player who can play multiple ball screen defensive coverages. With his length you would think “drop” will be an easy option but I am also bought into his movement abilities and length to allow him to be switchable. Again, the strength will show up on this end of the floor as he has to get better at holding his ground and generally being willing to be more physical.

Check out the Video Breakdown for my Full 2023 Preseason NBA Draft Player Profile

2022 NBA All-Star - G League Ignite v Cleveland Charge Photo by Emilee Chinn/NBAE via Getty Images

Scoot Henderson

6-foot-2 - G League Ignite - 18 years old (Turns 19 on Feb. 3, 2023)

STATS (via inSTAT) - 21 Games (28 MPG) 14.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 3.9 APG, 2.2 TOPG, 1.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 45% FG, 20% from 3 (2.4 attempts per Game), 78% FT, *3.4 fouls per game*

Offensively, Henderson is the type of player where an NBA team comfortably hands over the keys to its offense. He is extremely comfortable operating in pick-and-roll possessions and has a beautiful mid-range pull-up game. Everyone likes to highlight his explosiveness, which is real, but what I love about his game is the change of pace he plays with. This allows him to be successful in those pick-and-roll situations. It also showcases what I was most impressed by, his ability to make passing reads. The 3-point shot does have to come around, but based on the mid-range pull-up and the FT% I would guess we see that improve this upcoming season. I was also impressed by his maturity of simply “running the offense” at times while other members of the Ignite were the focal point of the offense.

Defensively, he is the type of prospect that you will see the flashes on the ball for him to be a really good defender. He definitely has some work to do in defending ball screens, which I am sure teams will try to exploit. One area to note and be concerned about is that the foul trouble seemed to be an actual issue. Off the ball, I thought he was engaged, for the most part, and showed an ability to be active and disruptive with his hands (maybe part of the foul trouble issue, though).

Check out the Video Breakdown for my Full 2023 Preseason NBA Draft Player Profile

Nike Hoop Summit Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Dariq Whitehead

6-foot-6 - Duke - 18 years old (Turns 19 on Aug. 1, 2023)

STATS (via inSTAT) - 9 Games (27 MPG) 14.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.3 TOPG, 0.6 SPG, 0.6 BPG, 49% FG, 37% from 3, 50% FT

Offensively, Whitehead has been the most impressive shot-maker I have scouted thus far in the class in terms of making tough, contested shots off the dribble. He was able to make those shots from behind the 3-point line, as well as from the mid-range. I loved his willingness and ability to put pressure on the rim BUT I will say that the finishing package will need to improve, as well as the overall decision-making at times.

Defensively, I really like this kid’s engagement and willingness to guard on the ball. Watched him pick up guys full court and lock in and give them problems. The biggest area for improvement for him, which is true for many young prospects, is going to be off the ball. After a pass, you could immediately see his focus and engagement lessen and that even carried over into his activity on the defensive boards. Again, not uncommon for young prospects (he just recently turned 18) but something I would like to show improvement this season at Duke.

Check out the Video Breakdown for my Full 2023 Preseason NBA Draft Player Profile

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