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Kings should strongly consider John Henson

sammybuckeye13
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Kings should strongly consider John Henson

I have been an enormous Henson fan since he made a huge leap from a disappointing freshman season (for both him individually and the Tar Heels) and I feel that he is comparable to Anthony Davis. Not better, no, no, no, but certainly comparable. Henson sprouted 6 inches his sr. year of high school. Davis sprouted 7 inches. They played for two of the mot celebrated college programs and the only real knock on both at this point, at least going forward, is that they need to add weight. Henson has made remarkable improvements since his freshman year, demonstrating that he still has plenty of room to grow and could certainly reach his potential as a dominant defender who can be a more than reliable option on offense (13.8 ppg in 29.1 mpg with a 35-second shot clock as a third or fourth option is no small feat). The two-year age difference and Davis' inhuman shot-blocking ability (compared to Henson's just-awesome shot-blocking ability) are the only truly notable difference as far as I'm concerned. Just check this out:

Height w/o socks Weight Wingspan Body Fat

Davis: 6-9.25 221 7-5.5 7.9%

Henson: 6-9 216 7-5 8.6%

...Which makes this all the more interesting:

2011-12: MPG PPG RPG BPG FG%

Davis: 32 14.2 10.4 4.7 62.3

Henson: 29.1 13.8 10.1 2.9 50

Henson is a true 6-10 PG with a monster 7-5 wingspan who has been the ACC's Defensive POY two years in a row, and not just because he blocks a lot of shots; his fundamentals on D are arguably as strong as any post defender in the nation. He has great footwork, always gets position, can step out on the perimeter to defend wings when needed and like NBA DPOY Tyson Chandler, his most major strength comes from being calm and collected and disciplined on every possession which means, perhaps above all, establishing firm position and not biting on shot fakes (see: just 1.6 fouls per game). Does he boast Davis' inside-outside potential? No, but that's not why teams will take Davis #1. Still, on that note, what was most impressive to me about Henson this year, having acknowledged his defensive ability as a sophomore, was the development of his shot, nailing baseline turnarounds with ease and knocking down 14-footers on a consistent basis. Davis shot 62.3%, but anyone that watched Kentucky knows that 85%, if not more, of Davis' points came from dunks, put-backs and FT's. Know that I am totally firm supporter of Davis being the #1 pick, no hesitation, and that my point in comparing him to Davis is made with the goal that it should only help Henson's stock.

I really feel that the Kings would be foolish not to consider him at #5. T-Rob would be a great fit for him if he's there, no doubt he's the pick if available, but if he's not, I don't believe Harrison Barnes, widely projected to go to Sacramento if he's there at the 5 spot, is the right man. He fills a hole at SF but he is a shy wing and considering the drastic difference in production when playing alongside Kendall Marshall, perhaps the best passer I've seen on the college level, he appears to be very situation dependent…do you think playing alongside Evans, Thornton and Jimmer will help him reach his potential? Put defensive animal/competent and still growing defensive dynamo Henson next to Demarcus Cousins and see if that doesn't make a greater difference for this franchise's growth.

I feel strongly about that pairing and believe that this combine enforced the assertion that Henson, a universal top-5 recruit out of high school who met expectations at UNC, is worthy of being a top-5 pick. That Kings team can certainly score the ball and could put up 100 ppg next year even if they forfeited this pick. Too many guys on that team love to score and, unfortunately, know how to. Now, figure that Cousins has led the league in total personal fouls in each of his first two pro seasons despite playing 29.4 mpg, and then imagine the athletic but immensely disciplined, long but incredibly coordinated, bouncy but terrifically fundamental Henson playing alongside him. The Kings have enough depth at guard and wing and honestly I would just be excited to see how Henson could help Cousins along, and how they could form a tremendously exciting and intimidating low post combo. Despite still needing some weight, Henson is ready to be a defensive force right away and his improvement on the offensive end (indicative of a tremendous amount of work in the gym, which suggest tremendous upside, still untapped) suggests he could be a strong two-way player right out of the gate, if not necessarily a top option on offense. Two years ago it looked as if he could never be more than Samuel Dalembert (definitely not an insult); now, there's no reason to believe he can't be Marcus Camby.

The Kings are a very interesting team. I root for them whenever they're on TV. I'm a big Marcus Thornton fan (true scorer who doesn't claim to be anything but), I love that Cousins, a 6-11/280 center, utilizes his potential on every possession (well, maybe just on offense), I'm a big fan of Isaiah Thomas (who isn't?) and in spite of a certainly subpar rookie year, I'm still a Jimmer supporter (shooters like him come along every five years, if that frequently). I saw what Tryeke did his rookie year (20-5-5 is legendary...literally). I love their fans. With the right combination -- with a smart pick in the middle of this year's lottery, where they've found themselves three years in a row -- I believe they can start to make every team in the Pacific Division (all vulnerable in their own rights) worried about what the future might hold.

That future should include Henson. Unless they somehow nab T-Rob, I would take Henson without hesitation. He is simply right for this team. Disagree freely...I am especially eager to see if any big UNC fans respond to this. I think Henson deserves to go #5 overall.


sammybuckeye13
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Sorry...

There are many grammatical errors here, long week, long post, I apologize. Thank you for reading.

tjmartin23
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I'm not opposed at all to

I'm not opposed at all to Henson going to the Kings. I love his game and as a UNC fan, he's one of my favorite players. I just think if the kings take him, they need to trade down. 5 is too high for him. Maybe trade down to the 10-15 range and get a veteren small foward with the pick.

sheltwon3
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When did Henson become a PG

When did Henson become a PG lol. I know what meant and also Arnett Moultrie may also need a look because of his size length and athleticism even though he is not the defensive player right now that Henson is, He has all the tools and is a more complete player.

Chewy
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Sacto

I have to agree with you. Sacremento needs an athletic defensive minded PF to pair up with Cousins. Hayes is small for his position. Jason Thompson is more of a jumpshooter and finess guy. Hickson is a solid player, but not really a main building block for the team.

T-Rob would be a perfect fit for this team. He is incredibly athletic and hits the boards hard. I could see Henson fitting in as a defensive 4, but he gets injued so often that he scares me as a prospect. How will he play against grown men day after day and not get hurt?

omphalos
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I'm not sure how Henson is

I'm not sure how Henson is that different from Hassan Whiteside, who the Kings already have. They are both great shot-blockers who are very skinny. Whiteside might be less talented offensively, but when you have Cousins in your frontcourt you don't need the other guy to do a whole lot of scoring.

If Barnes is available, he's a no-brainer to me. You called him "shy", but I prefer the term stoic, he's not a guy to get too high or too low on the court, which is exactly what the Kings need from a lockerroom standpoint. On the court he spreads the floor (Kings were among the worst in outside shooting), can play off the ball (another plus with ball-dominant Tyreke in the fold) and measured in with great length and size defensively for the SF spot, which will stop Tyreke having to check the likes of Durant and Melo and getting into foul trouble.

I'm not saying Henson is a bad fit, but unless they trade down for him, he'd be bad value at 5th overall, especially when you have a similar player you've been developing for a few years in Whiteside already on the team.

Raef LaFrentz
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I think he compliments

I think he compliments Cousins very well to be honest with you. They really should consider taking him...only at a later pick. I'm sure they can field a few offers for their pick in order to trade for a pick anywhere from 9-14 in order to take Henson.

Nice idea and nice post, man. Got me thinkin'..

SportsNinja
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From what I've read the Kings

From what I've read the Kings are strongly considering Henson. It's a good fit, but I believe he is a reach at 5. Barnes is a good fit as well, but I think he'll be gone by 4. The Kings have a surplus of guys at the 3, including Terrance Williams if they resign him, which I think they will.

You would think the #5 pick will start and get significant playing time. If they pick a 3 that means he or Evans is coming off the bench. That makes sense for a championship caliber team, but not this team. JT really improved his post game once they brought in a quality big man coach- Clifford Ray, and would be a very solid 4 or 5 off the bench, so it makes more sense to draft a 4. This means they wouldn't have to play Donte Greene (if they keep him) or Outlaw at the 4 which they did at times.

BUT. . .

IMO this team has been drafting BPA and gathering talent and not worrying how it fits. I would say they are willing to trade any player on the team- probably (but not definitely) excluding Cousins. The price would have to be right of course, but they have a lot of youth and cap space. They will never sign a great free agent, so they will have to trade for one. Unless they fall in love with someone I see them trading this pick.

Chewy- Hickson plays for the Blazers now

417basketballfan
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great post

great post. when I first read the headline I thought you were off your rocker. but after giving your point on how henson is a good player and a good fit for the kings I see your point. he would be a great player for the kings. but I think they should trade back the pick because he's still gonna be there a couple of picks later

RUDEBOY_
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LOL..Look at the Negs guys

LOL..Look at the Negs guys are getting that are against the Kings picking Henson..Well neg me also..Becuz like Omphalos said why pick Henson when you have Whiteside who gives you shot blocking and is a few inches taller? Plus top 10 is too high for a 1 dimensional player like Henson...I think Whiteside will be among the most improved players next season...For some reason i have a feeling the TWolves will select him....He'll be perfect backing up any of their frontcourt guys...The Kings have been known to make their picks based on position needs..It seems that point guard and small forward are the 2 areas that need addressing....

Raef LaFrentz
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Henson would fit in PERFECTLY

Henson would fit in PERFECTLY with the Wolves. Will he fall that far though? That's the question.

3-6 Mafia
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oh i got like tons of negs

oh i got like tons of negs for comparing these two right here, ad and henson, in a similar post.

i was called ignorant for saying these two are similar, henson can go top ten, and i said henson > sullinger got insane amount of negs...

Raef LaFrentz
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I also like Henson more than

I also like Henson more than Sully, so you're not alone there F_S.

Just don't worry about negs or plusses.

butidonthavemoney
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Henson

Henson has a MUCH better motor than Whiteside ever did. That alone puts him on a completely different level when projecting success. Whiteside also has a very low basketball IQ and a very big ego. I don't think there should be any comparison between the two.

But Henson would be a very big reach at 5. OP briefly mentions Henson's weight, but anybody that's been following UNC knows that Henson has been desperately trying to add weight over the last three years and his potential for doing so is severely limited for a few reasons:

  1. He has an extremely skinny frame. Those shoulders aren't going to hold much more weight.
  2. Most players lose an additional 10-15 pounds over the course of an 82 game NBA season. During his career at UNC, Henson committed his summers to adding weight (getting up to 225 lbs at one point) but finished almost every year around 210 or 215. He only weighed in at 216 at the combine. No matter how athletic or good defensively you are, that's a liability in the post.

His weight will definitely hurt him defensively against any experienced big over 240 pounds with a quality post-up game. Offensively his jump shot has indeed shown improvement, but Henson still relied on post-ups to score most of his points. It's hard to imagine him being successful in the post in the NBA. He'll block shots and pull down a few boards, I have no doubt, but it's completely unrealistic to expect him to produce like he did at UNC against the much bigger, stronger players in the NBA.

And that's just one red flag. In addition to that: He's still an unpolished all-around offensive player, a horrible free-throw shooter (though he managed to improve to 51% from the stripe this year) and an awkward runner that has "injury prone" written all over him.

I'll let everybody's favorite ski instructor sum things up for me:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

If Henson makes sense to the Kings (and I wouldn't put anything past the Kings), then they need to trade down to get him. Otherwise, draft whoever is available out of Davis, Drummond, Kidd-Gilchrist, Robinson and Barnes.

TheMOSTHATEDone
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On Henson vs Whiteside

Henson can actually play, their brains are different, try to set a scan for gray- matter measurements, they should be different

Raef LaFrentz
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"should be different" *WILL

"should be different"

*WILL be different.

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John Henson make sense for

John Henson make sense for the Kings only if they trading down, otherwise they better take MKG or Barnes if available to fill the SF for the future or even to take a risk on Drummond, drafting Henson anywhere not outside the lottery will be a reach, cause after all he's potential is a role energy player and he doesn't have offensive game.

Wejustwin504
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As a UNC fan i would LOVE for

As a UNC fan i would LOVE for JHook to go to Sacramento. I think Sac town and Detroit are the best fits for him. Playing alongside a low post threat like how he did will zeller will elevate his game.

Spacegrass
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Not sure

Not sure if anyone else said this , but that would be the longest frontline in the NBA easily right? Henson 6'10-6'11 with a 7'5 wingspan and Cousins at 6'11-7'0 with a 7'6 wingspan. Defensively that has potential to wreck shop on people for 8-10 years though I do not love those two together offensively. They both are better suited playing near the basket for different reasons and neither of them are best suited to be a big that plays in the mid range area of the floor , which one of them will have to do some to keep the floor open for your guards and slashers.

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Henson alongside DMC is a

Henson alongside DMC is a perfect match up and Henson's lack of bulk is compensated for by DMC being 280 to 290lbs so Henson can use his length away from the boards giving the team both outside and inside cover.

Number 5 pick is a reach for Henson so if the Kings did covet him then logically they look for a trade down and either shed contracts or get assets back in return as a top 5 pick will likely mean that one of T-Rob, MKG, Barnes or Drummond will still be on board and teams would trade up to get a shot at them. The Kings would of course have to be sure that no-one inbetween them and their trading partner in the draft would nab Henson.

If we look at Aran's mocks as a good guideline, he has Henson at 9, so a likely trading partner could be Toronto, Detroit or NOH. Both Toronto and Detroit are Eastern teams meaning the favoured Conference to Conference trade is on and Toronto would be a nice fit for Barnes or MKG and Detroit would surely love Drummond or T-Rob to pair alongside Monroe. NOH if they could get two top 5 picks this year are suddenly well on the way to rebuilding so a trade up could have appeal there. I'll not go into deal specifics as they could involve future picks as teams like Detroit already have bad contracts they might like to shed.

mosdef
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I read something about the

I read something about the Kings liking Henson like a week ago. My philosphy is if you think the dude is legit then draft him where you are and dont worry about the media cuz if you slide down and he gets picked then the guy you want is gone and now the team is scrambling. If he turns out to be a player then the media will eventually say that the Kings FO really targeted the player and now he is good

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