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SAN FRANCISCO -- If you're convinced it's a two-horse race for Rookie of the Year between Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren, there's a young man in Portland who'd like to have a word with you.

With more than half of the season left to play, Trail Blazers guard and No. 3 overall pick Scoot Henderson still has his eyes set on the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy.

"Trying to get Rookie of the Year, that's still my goal," Henderson told CBS Sports after the Blazers' 126-106 loss to the Warriors on Saturday. "That's still up in the air, I think."

While it's difficult to make a statistical argument for Henderson -- 11 points and four assists per game on 37/25/79 shooting splits -- over the two phenomenal big men, Blazers coach Chauncey Billups and others in the organization point to a steeper learning curve for the rookie point guard. Billups himself went through some tumultuous years on four different teams early in his career before becoming an All-Star and Finals MVP in Detroit. 

Not to mention that the game is much more difficult for a point guard now than it was when Billups came into the league. Billups said that his job was essentially to get the ball to the big man and play through him, whereas in today's era, players like Henderson run pick-and-roll nearly every possession and are tasked with making quick reads while staying "on the attack" the whole time. In the end, however, the ultimate responsibility is still the same.

"At the end of the day, in my eyes -- not maybe to the world, but in my eyes -- a point guard is a point guard," Billups said. "You're the leader. You've got to know what's going on out there at all times for everybody. I'm not going to change my standard for what I know the game should be like for a point guard."

Billups doesn't need to worry about Henderson keeping "attack mode" activated. The first thing pretty much anyone notices about the 19-year-old is his speed and power, packed into a compact, muscular 6-foot-3 frame. Many of his shot attempts come at the rim, where he uses his quickness, strength and dexterity to finish in traffic.

"He's really impressive. He just comes downhill so fast and powerfully," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr, whose team has played against Henderson three times already this season. "You can see he's got a world of talent and seems to be doing a really good job."

With great talent comes great responsibility, and that's where Henderson has run into some issues. He's averaging four assists per game this season, but also three turnovers -- an unacceptable ratio for a lead guard at any level. Billups understands that there will be growing pains, particularly due to the pace at which Henderson plays.

"He's such an explosive, fast guy -- downhill type of player. Sometimes you can get a little out of control playing that way," Billups said. "That timing is what you never know. Some days it does, and he's able to slow down and make the proper reads, and then some days he gets rushed. That's a part of the process."

Henderson's decision-making has occasionally lagged, which has led to a lot of turnovers where he delivers the ball a split-second too late or has a hard time making up his mind whether to shoot or pass. For a player with his explosiveness, he's been particularly ineffective in transition, landing in just the ninth percentile, including shots and passes so far in his career, per Synergy Sports.

Luckily for Henderson, he has an enclave of mentors -- young, old and in-between -- to guide him along his NBA journey. In addition to Billups and assistant coach Scott Brooks, who both have immeasurable playing and coaching experience as former point guards, there's also Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe, who have developed rapidly after coming into the league at an extremely young age -- a trajectory Henderson hopes to mirror.

Most importantly, however, is eight-year vet Malcolm Brogdon, who was traded to Portland before the season and is being tasked not only with being one of the team's top scorers and leading assist men, but also with ushering along the young guards -- especially Henderson. Billups noted how it's "a big deal" that a player like Brogdon, still in his prime, has been so willing to help out Henderson in the film room and on the court. The rookie gets real-time feedback from Brogdon during games, which has led to steady improvement.

"I think just my patience -- knowing when to change pace, knowing scouting reports, little things like that I didn't know coming into the NBA -- that's really huge," Henderson said. "Knowing players' tendencies and things like that on the defensive end, but also on the offensive side. Just trying to get better every single game."

Part of the reason for Henderson's relatively pedestrian numbers compared to Wembanyama and Holmgren is that he's playing in a crowded backcourt. When he, Simons, Sharpe and Brogdon are all healthy, there's a bit of a logjam that has limited Henderson to just 26 minutes per game this season. It's led to possessions where Henderson is operating out of the corner -- a position he's not yet accustomed to. There's incredible room for growth as he figures things out, and Billups also believes that Henderson is going to be "an elite defender in this league" as he continues to gain experience.

The Blazers are playing the long game with their young, dynamic guard, and he understands that. Henderson told CBS Sports that he experienced losing during his two seasons with the G League Ignite prior to entering the NBA, and he knows "that feeling of losing and not loving it, not liking it at all." But, he's not naive. He knows the Blazers are in a rebuild, and that the team's potential progression into a contender is largely contingent upon his continued development.

"I know it's hard to come in the league and play point guard, especially for a team that's creating a new system, trying to play faster and things like that nature," Henderson explained. "But my thing is just controlling what I control. ... I can control how to get better every single game -- watching film, going over last game and games before that. Watching other NBA guards in the league, how they score, how they defend, how they assist and get players involved. Just doing that, I think it'll just get me better."