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Blazers' Scoot Henderson sets lofty goals: 'I will win Rookie of the Year'

Blazers' Scoot Henderson sets lofty goals: 'I will win Rookie of the Year'

Portland Trail Blazers rookie Scoot Henderson has never lacked confidence. 

“I can really do anything, honestly — anything I put my mind to," Henderson told Basketball News' Spencer Davies back when he was 17 years old. "My confidence is crazy."

He's not wrong. After becoming the youngest professional player in NBA G League history and shining with the G League Ignite, he was selected No. 3 overall in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Now, he's setting a new goal for himself: Rookie of the Year.

While all eyes will be on San Antonio Spurs phenom Victor Wembanyama entering the 2023-24 NBA season, Henderson isn't backing down. Wemby may be the most hyped-up prospect since LeBron James, but Henderson believes he can win Rookie of the Year.

"My goal, obviously, is to win Rookie of the Year. And I will win Rookie of the Year," Henderson told Playmaker. "That's just a mindset, a manifestation that I kind of grew. Never doubted myself, making sure I'm always putting good energy in the air, making sure I'm telling myself, 'I'm gonna have a great rookie season.'

"I'm not saying I want to have a great rookie season, I'mma have a great rookie season. I'mma have a great career. I will have a great career and [I'm] making sure that's always in past tense because it happened."

The Blazers will likely give Henderson the keys to their offense, and he'll every opportunity to put up big numbers in Portland. Henderson currently has the third-best odds in the Rookie-of-the-Year race across the major sportsbooks (FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, PointsBet and BetMGM). Wembanyama is the favorite, while Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren has the second-best odds.

Holmgren was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but missed all of last season due to a Lisfranc injury in his right foot that required surgery. That means Holmgren is eligible to win the Rookie of the Year award this season (similar to when Ben Simmons won the ROY award in 2017-18 or when Blake Griffin won it in 2010-11).

But Rookie of the Year isn't the only lofty goal that Henderson has set for himself. He also said that he wants to be the GOAT and the "most influential player" for the next generation when all is said and done.

"[I want] to be the best point guard in the game, [the best] to ever play. That's my goal... When people think of Scoot Henderson, I want them to think of the best player to ever play the game," Henderson said. "But you can only do that by being the best version of yourself, so that's what I'm working on now."

Check out the full conversation with Henderson below:

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