NBA Draft Watch: John Henson

NBA Draft Watch: John Henson
May 23, 2012, 4:14 pm
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Should the lottery odds play out accordingly, the Wizards figure to land one of the top four spots in the 2012 NBA Draft. Even the worst case scenario of falling all the way totricky number five,North Carolina forward John Henson is not a likely option. Despite his athletic gifts, 6-foot-11 size and penchant for rebounding and defense, his current draft rank falls somewhere in the back half of the lottery. That's not a bad neighborhood to be in, just not where the Wizards figure to set up shop. Not at the moment anyway.Draft Express ranks Henson the number 11 overall prospect while ESPN's Chad Ford slots him at 13. Seems a touch low for me. Maybe the junior is the latest prospect to be knocked for essentially having too much game tape on the college level from which nitpicking scouts can find flaws. Perhaps the aloof nature of Henson's game combined with sky-high expectations for the latest UNC big man have left some wanting. Then there are fears that his thin frame is not capable of adding on the needed weight to handle the NBA pounding.
On the Wizards, Henson's springy game could make for a nice fit opposite the powerful Nene.Similar to my concerns about adding any non-Anthony Davis big man, not sure what adding Henson does to the current rotation and in this case specifically, Jan Vesely and Trevor Booker. Perhaps some team offering the world (i.e. will take Rashard Lewis' or - fingers crossed - Andray Blatche's contract) will have the Wizards contemplating a move down in the lottery. Adding Henson straight up might not be ideal, but could be an interestingsecondary transaction, Anthony Davis-lite as it were.NBA Draft Blog's Ed Isaacson shared his thoughts on Hensonplushis Q&A with the intriguing frontcourt prospect. The thoughts are below; click here for the Q&A."As a freshman, Henson was an intriguing prospect, reminding many of a Tar Heel who recently departed to the NBA, Ed Davis. Long, with good defensive instincts, UNC fans were excited to see what he could do. In his sophomore year, they got it and more. Henson became a fantastic defender, shot blocker and rebounder, and making some contributions on the offensive end, fulfilling pretty much what people had hoped. Henson could have taken reputation and lived off it in college, or even have taken it to the NBA. He wanted another year, and what he showed as a player this season easily surpassed anything people though just a few years earlier. "The defense, shot blocking, rebounding were all still there and still improving, but this year, Henson showed significant development on the offensive end. Whether it was his post moves, his ability to hit mid-range jumpers, or his passing ability out of the post, Henson showed as complete a game as any other big man in college. Yet, people will point to things like stats, or the talent surrounding him, and say, 2 more points per game, and less rebounds and blocks, how much improvement is that really? Watch the player he was as a freshman and watch him this past season Henson is now a NBA player, he will be a good one at that, and he is still improving."