Milwaukee Bucks Reportedly 'Dangling' John Henson in Trade Discussions

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2014

Dec 20, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward John Henson (31) during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks could be down one long-armed young player by the time the Feb. 20 trade deadline comes and goes. 

No, don't worry.

Giannis Antetokounmpo isn't going to be leaving anytime soon, though, I have to imagine general manager John Hammond would be tempted to trade him if he were offered a package of 800 second-round picks. 

It's John Henson who may not be spending time at the basement of the Eastern Conference anymore, according to Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times

The Bucks are also dangling young power forward John Henson and could package him with a veteran player with a high salary like shooting guard O.J Mayo, who is in the first season of a fully-guaranteed three-year, $24 million deal.

Let's not beat around the bush here. 

Henson should be off limits, part of the group that—per Woelfel—includes The Greek Freak, Khris Middleton and Brandon Knight. If Middleton is untouchable and the team is truly "dangling" Henson, then something is seriously wrong in the talent evaluation department.

"Seriously wrong" may not even be strong enough. 

Dec 18, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward John Henson (31) backs down on New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the first quarter  at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

During the 2013-14 season, Henson has averaged 11.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals and 2.2 blocks per game, all while shooting 52.9 percent from the field. The 23-year-old is still brimming over with potential, and he's already posting a 19.1 PER during his sophomore season.

According to Basketball-Reference, that leads the entire organization. Oh, and he's produced more win shares than anyone else on the roster, though, Middleton is second in that category—despite his below-average PER—by virtue of leading the team in minutes. 

In terms of win shares per 48 minutes, which takes playing time out of the equation, Henson trails only Miroslav Raduljica. 

He's also improved quite a bit during his second professional go-round. 

"Coach [Larry] Drew has kinda entrusted me with being the guy that he wants to go to in the post," Henson told's Leo Sepkowitz. "I think that’s given me confidence and helped me out offensively, and it’s kinda snowballed into something that’s actually ended up being pretty successful for me."

Given the improvement, the production and the potential for even more improvement, Henson is a valuable piece of the Bucks' future. And it's a future that is brighter than you might expect, especially given the putridity of the current season. 

Trading him would be a massive mistake.