Detroit Pistons Draft Targets: John Henson, PF, North Carolina

Jay Wierenga@@JayWierengaCorrespondent IFebruary 22, 2012

This is one of several in a series chronicling potential draft pick options for the Detroit Pistons.

The previous articles covered other top draft pick options and can be accessed by going to my profile.


My Take

John Henson is someone who always impresses me in that I'm usually not scouting him per se, but he usually forces me to watch him.

Henson is a junior at North Carolina, but his talented teammate, Harrison Barnes, has gotten all the attention each of the last two years.

Henson, in a lot of ways, is a poor man's Anthony Davis (Kentucky). He runs the court well, he has a good basketball sense and he blocks shots with reckless abandon.

Where Henson does not seem to always flourish is on the offensive side of the ball, as his post game still needs work.

Furthermore, he has a very slight frame—something that will make his post game even more difficult to develop at the next level.

That being said, he is a very good athlete who seems to be in the right place at the right time. For someone less talented, you would call this having a "nose" for the ball. But with Henson, it tends to be a combination of good athleticism and superior instincts.

While his post game is not top shelf, he does get his points by getting good offensive position on rebounds and finishing very well for a man as thin as him.

Henson has extremely long arms that help him on both sides of the ball, a tremendous leaping ability and he is an exceptionally quick leaper.

This allows him to be a very fearsome shot-blocker and defensive rebounder.

He also seems to be a very high-character kid who should be a nice addition in the locker room.


Scout's Take By ESPN

Projection Lottery Pick
  • Super athletic
  • Long, lanky forward
  • Great motor
  • Awesome rebounder and shot-blocker
  • Excellent defender
  • High character player
  • Needs to add A LOT of muscle
  • Perimeter game needs developing


How He Fits Detroit

If Detroit were to draft Henson, he would be a power forward in their system, ensuring that Greg Monroe would continue to develop as a center.

Henson pairs well with Monroe, as he is an athletic shot-blocker who could also help with rebounding.

The downside is that there is somewhat of a chance that he will not be a stellar pro given his slight frame. The annals of basketball history are littered with big men who never bulked up sufficiently and became afterthoughts.

I think that with Henson's athleticism, length and basketball intelligence, this is somewhat of a remote chance, but this might be too much of a risk for a Pistons team that must get this pick right.

Henson fits the Pistons' need of another athletic big to pair with Monroe, but if a higher-value pick is still on the board, the Pistons might need to bite the bullet and take someone who might not fit the team construct.

Basically, the Pistons have been winning a lot lately, which reduces their chances of getting someone like Davis, Barnes or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

This puts them in the middle-to-late end of the lottery, where the big men are more like projects and the bulk of talent will be at shooting guard—a spot that the Pistons don't need.

But if the choice is either a big man who is a project or a player who plays a position of strength, what do you do?

I want to see how Henson performs the bench press at the combine before I say for sure, but there is a solid chance that he could be a good pick for Detroit.


    Iguodala Out, Klay Playing in Game 5

    NBA logo

    Iguodala Out, Klay Playing in Game 5

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Dame Wants to Meet with Allen

    NBA logo

    Report: Dame Wants to Meet with Allen

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Pierce: Tatum Will Be 1 of the 'Greats' in Celtics History

    NBA logo

    Pierce: Tatum Will Be 1 of the 'Greats' in Celtics History

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report

    Pistons Have Foundation for Immediate Success

    Detroit Pistons logo
    Detroit Pistons

    Pistons Have Foundation for Immediate Success

    Vince Ellis
    via Detroit Free Press