Lakers News: Top NBA Prospect Scoot Henderson Models Game After Russell Westbrook
Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook’s second year in L.A. is noticeably different from his first.

For one, Westbrook is now a reserve player for the Lakers, making his contributions felt off the bench. It’s resulted in better stats and play, creating a role he can thrive in for the rest of the season. Westbrook even has three triple-doubles this season when he’s come off the bench — tying a record with Detlef Schrempf for most off a bench.

But, Westbrook also seems to be enjoying the game of basketball more. His energy and attentiveness on the court have improved in his new role. He’s closed some games out too, proving his worth in key moments.

The historical impact of Westbrook’s play style is evident, breaking various records involving triple-doubles. His play has served as an inspiration for younger players entering the NBA and top prospect Scoot Henderson is no different.

He compared his game to Westbrook’s in a recent interview with Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype:

“Right now, probably who people say over and over again, Russell Westbrook. I want to be like Andre Miller with the pace and the ability to see the floor. Pass like Chris Paul and be smart. On a skillset level, I want to be like Damian Lillard. I want to be a clash of all those guys. On defense, be like Jrue Holiday. I watch all of their film and try to be that one whole player.

“I was trying to meet Andre. I was watching film of him before the game. Miller was going slow as heck, but he was getting whatever he wanted. I feel I have the ability to go slow and fast and still get what I want.”

Henderson is the No. 2 prospect in the 2023 NBA Mock Draft. He is one spot behind the highly touted prospect Victor Wembanyama. The two faced each other in early October with Henderson dropping 28 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists.

He passed up college for a season with the G League Ignite. Henderson is averaging 16 points, 6 rebounds and 5.5 assists, mimicking the all-around game Westbrook has become synonymous with. It’s no secret that Westbrook had an impact on how Henderson plays his game:

“I used to watch Russell Westbrook highlights before games. His aggressiveness is like that dog in you that you’ve got to have. I try to not mimic it, but see how I can bring that out of myself.”

Westbrook’s aggressiveness still stands out as he plays through his 14th season in the league. His preparation and fight are great building blocks for young players like Henderson, someone who will face off against who he mimics next season.

‘Serious consideration’ given to make no major moves at trade deadline

At the start of the season, a trade seemed to be a matter of when and not if for L.A. The Lakers’ roster needed some help with high salaries dominating the payroll.

Now, it seems the focus of the Lakers’ front office has shifted away from making a deal. A recent report from indicates that a trade might not happen unless it brings the Lakers to contender status.

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