Scoot vs. Victor is here!
Tonight we get to see the top two NBA draft prospects in action ... plus three other prospects to watch
HENDERSON, NEV. — Tonight is the biggest night on the 2023 NBA Draft calendar so far, as the likely top two picks face off here at 10 p.m. ET, televised on ESPN2 and the NBA app.
When the G League Ignite host Metropolitans 92 in the first of two friendly exhibition games this week, all eyes will be on Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson.
Wembanyama is the multiskilled 7’4” Frenchman rated by most as the No. 1 prospect, while Henderson is a dynamic, explosive guard from the Atlanta area who is Wembanyama’s chief competition to become the top overall pick in the June draft. Both are 18, born a month apart in early 2004.
Here are my observations going into tonight’s matchup:
Huge matchups for NBA teams
NBA season previews this year are laced with references to tanking for Wembanyama — “Brick for Vic” and a thousand other variations on the theme — and now every team has the unique, unexpected opportunity to see him in competitive games on American soil.
When I saw Wembanyama in France in a pair of games last week (more on that below), only a handful of NBA scouts were there. But the two games in Henderson, a suburb of Las Vegas, are sure to draw scouts and executives from all 30 NBA teams.
“There’s going to be four or five people from each [NBA] team,” said a scout whose team is projected to pick early in next year’s draft when we were at Wembanyama’s most recent game on Friday night in the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret.
Of course, if the current projections hold, Henderson will theoretically be in play for even more teams than Wembanyama in next year’s draft. While NBA teams had quite a few opportunities to see Henderson play, he will have more of a featured role with the Ignite this season after the team lost multiple players in the 2022 draft, including lottery pick Dyson Daniels.