The top two prospects in the 2023 NBA Draft are facing off against each other in two preseason games that will be filled with NBA executives and scouts. Victor Wembanayma and Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 will face Scoot Henderson and G League Ignite in Nevada on Tuesday, Oct. 4 and Thursday, Oct. 6 just outside Las Vegas. Both games will shown on ESPN2. Check out our full 2023 NBA mock draft for a first look at this season’s top prospects.
Wembanayma is considered a generational prospect as he enters this draft. The 18-year-old Frenchman was measured at 7’4 barefoot with an 8-foot wingspan, and is blessed with rare athletic fluidity for his size. Wembanayma has historic potential as a defensive anchor who can block shots from anywhere on the court and deter otherwise easy looks from even being attempted. In addition to his absurd length and quickness, Wembanayma also has a burgeoning offensive skill set that includes soft shooting touch out to three-point range, and flashes of being able to create his own look. Read our full breakdown on what makes Wembanyama potentially the best NBA prospect since LeBron James.
Sterling “Scoot” Henderson is a 6’2 point guard out of Atlanta who bypassed his senior year of high school and college offers to sign a two-year deal with the G League Ignite, the NBA developmental program that produced lottery picks Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, and Dyson Daniels since launching two years ago. Henderson showed his tantalizing combination of speed, power, and downhill scoring ability in his debut with the Ignite last season. He’s a point guard in the mold of Derrick Rose or John Wall: he has a blazing first step to get by his man in the halfcourt, can finish at the basket with a combination of strength and agility, and will immediately thrive in transition. Henderson’s big weakness right now is his three-point shot.
This is shaping up to be a rare draft with perhaps the top-four prospects available all playing outside of college basketball. In addition to Wembanyama and Henderson, there’s also the ultra-athletic Thompson twins playing in Overtime Elite. With Wembanyama and Henderson facing off, we’re set for potentially the biggest scouting event of the 2023 NBA Draft played in October.
Victor Wembanyama vs. G League Ignite: What to watch
This will be Wembanyama’s big introduction to American fans. He simply needs to show all of the physical trails that make him special, and flash the skill level that could take his game to historic levels.
Here’s highlights from Wembanyama against Le Portel on Sept. 30.
Metropolitans are letting Wembanyama push the limits of his skill set instead of trying to win as many games as possible by relying on veterans. The 18-year-old big man is firing threes, trying to create with the ball in his hands, and carrying a ton of responsibility defensively. We want to see how Wembanyama guards Henderson in the pick-and-roll —will he play a drop, get to the level of the screen, or be tasked with switching? We also want to see Wembanyama play with force around the rim. His three-point shot will be under a microscope, too: Wembanyama loves to shoot threes, and if he makes a couple the internet is going to go wild.
Scoot Henderson vs. Victor Wembanyama: What to watch
Wembanyama is projected as the top pick because of his ridiculous physical attributes, but Henderson would be a worthy No. 1 overall candidate in almost any other year. While we’ve never really seen someone like Wembanyama before, Henderson’s speed and power at the point guard position brings to mind so many of the great floor generals over the last 20 years. What we want to see out of Henderson is a dominant performance that makes some people rethink the No. 1 overall pick.
Here’s highlights from Henderson last year with the G League Ignite.
We can’t wait to see how Henderson attacks Wembanyama coming downhill. Henderson has never seen a rim protector as long as Wembanyama, and Wembanyama hasn’t seen a guard as athletic as Henderson. Will Henderson be able to finish through Wembanyama, or find other angles to beat him around the rim? We also want to see where Henderson is at as a passer after averaging 3.6 assists per game last season. This year’s Ignite roster has more veteran shooters, which should help the spacing concerns from last season. Of course, everyone will want to see if Henderson can take and make three-pointers as well, especially when Wembanyama dips under screens.
G League Ignite vs. Metropolitans 92 rosters
Find the G League Ignite roster here. The team has six prospects it is developing this season, along with a group of veterans on the roster. Here are the prospects:
G Scoot Henderson
G Mojave King
G/F Sidy Cissoko
F Leonard Miller
C Efe Abogidi
G London Johnson
Here’s Metropolitans 92’s roster. In addition to Wembanyama at center, Metropolitans 92 also have former Boston Celtics guard Tremont Waters, former Michigan State wing Aaron Henry, and Bucks draft pick Hugo Besson.
Victor Wembanyama vs. Scoot Henderson quotes
These two aren’t backing down from each other:
Presumed No. 1 2023 draft pick Victor Wembanyama on presumed No. 2 pick Scoot Henderson: “He’s really a great player. If I was never born, I think he would deserve the first spot.”
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) October 3, 2022
NBA G League Ignite’s Scoot Henderson: “I feel like I’m the No. 1 player.” Henderson sits down with @Stadium to discuss facing off against fellow top 2023 Draft prospect Victor Wembanyama, his NBA idols, unique family business and more: pic.twitter.com/1HVoDSPF8n
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 4, 2022
Victor Wembanyama vs. Scoot Henderson and G League Ignite: Game dates, times, TV and stream info
Game: Metropolitans 92 vs. G League Ignite
Marquee players: Victor Wembanyama (Metropolitans 92) and Scoot Henderson (G League Ignite)
Game 1 date, time, and TV: Oct. 4 at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and NBA app
Game 2 date, time, and TV: Oct. 6 at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and NBA app
Stream: Watch ESPN and NBA App