Milwaukee Bucks Make Safe Pick with UNC Star John Henson

Sim RissoFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 28:  John Henson (R) of the North Carolina Tar Heels greets NBA Commissioner David Stern (L) after he was selected number fourteen overall by the Milwaukee Bucks during the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft at Prudential Center on June 28, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The Milwaukee Bucks selected University of North Carolina power forward John Henson with the No. 14 pick in the 2012 NBA draft. While Henson may not have the upside of some other prospects in the draft, he's also got a much higher ceiling than a lot of players.

In Henson, the Bucks are getting a very good defender, indicated by his winning the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award in 2011 and 2012. His ability to defend should mesh well with Samuel Dalembert, who the Bucks picked up on Wednesday in a trade with the Houston Rockets.

Henson's offensive game, especially his ability to spread the floor with a consistent jump shot, is lacking at this point. Henson could also use some bulk to his frame, because although his 6'10" height is more than adequate to play the 4 in the NBA, his 216-pound frame is much lighter than most players he'll be going against.

Adding bulk and improving his offensive repertoire are imperative if Henson is to reach his full potential. But even if he doesn't improve much in those areas, his skill on defense will make him an immediate impact player in the NBA.

For a team like Milwaukee, getting a player that can contribute immediately is huge. At 31-35 in 2011-12, the Bucks finished ninth in the Eastern Conference and only missed the playoffs by four games.

But between Dalembert and Henson, the Bucks have probably improved their frontcourt enough to sneak into the playoffs in 2012-13.

With some improvement to Henson's offensive game, he has the opportunity to be an All-Star caliber player. But if he helps the Bucks qualify for the playoffs with his tenacious defense in 2012-13 and beyond, then he'll be well worth the pick, regardless of whether or not he develops his offensive game.