LAS VEGAS – Portland Trail Blazers rookie Scoot Henderson left his NBA Summer League debut with an unspecified right shoulder injury in the third quarter against the Houston Rockets and did not return.
And he wasn’t the only notable rookie to sustain an injury in the game.
Rockets rookie Amen Thompson, drafted with the No. 4 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, left the same game with an apparent left ankle injury late in the fourth quarter. He was injured while blocking the shot of Blazers center Ibou Badji with about 50 seconds left after the two became tangled under the basket.
Henderson, the No. 3 pick in the draft last month, finished with 15 points, six assists and five rebounds in 21 minutes. It was not immediately clear how Henderson was hurt, and Blazers summer coach Jonah Herscu said he didn’t know when or how the injury occurred.
“Just being cautious,” Herscu said.
The Blazers did not make Henderson available, saying they wanted to get him to a facility where he could get proper medical testing. He emerged from the locker room with headphones around his neck and stopped for a brief chat with head coach Chauncey Billups. Then he took a phone call, holding the phone with his left hand, and was escorted out of the arena by Blazers’ personnel. Henderson came back into the arena an hour after his game to wave and shake hands with family and friends in the stands. He raised his right arm several times and lunged over the railing with his right arm for contact. He did not look like he was carrying a bum shoulder.
Teammate Kris Murray said he didn’t get the idea the injury was serious. “It’s not too bad. He will be fine,” Murray said. “It’s something where you don’t want to push too much in summer league.” Murray said he based his opinion by reading Henderson’s body language in the locker room. “I’m not a doctor, I don’t know the ins and outs of the human body. (But) I think he is fine. It’s not to worry about it.”
Thompson scored 16 points with five assists in 28 minutes.
“I just blocked the shot, landed on his foot and twisted my ankle,” Thompson said afterwards. “It’s really up to staff (if he’ll play this weekend). I know I’ll be good but it’s up to the staff if they’ll wanna save me for the season.”
Henderson and Thomspon were the warm-up act for the debut of No. 1 pick and international sensation Victor Wembanyama, whose scheduled debut with the San Antonio Spurs is on the same Thomas and Mack Center court in Las Vegas, immediately following the Blazers-Rockets game.
The Rockets won 100-99 on a buzzer-beating shot by Jabari Smith Jr., the No. 3 pick in the 2022 draft.
Jason Quick and Kelly Iko contributed to this report.
(Photo: Lucas Peltier / USA Today)