John Henson Says Pistons Said They'd Draft Him, but Andre Drummond Fell in 2012

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2020

Detroit Pistons forward John Henson looks to pass during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

trade featuring Andre Drummond brought John Henson to the Detroit Pistons last week from the Cleveland Cavaliers, but it was Drummond who prevented Henson from being with the organization years earlier.

"The Pistons actually promised me at nine [in 2012]," Henson said Saturday, per Keith Langlois of the team's official site. "But Drummond dropped, so they called me. 'Hey, Drummond dropped. We're going to pick him.' So it's kind of full circle."

Drummond ended up being a steal for Detroit at No. 9 overall, earning two All-Star selections while ranking third in the class in win shares behind only Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard, per Basketball Reference.

Henson fell to the Milwaukee Bucks at No. 14 and has had an up-and-down career that's now taken him to three teams in the last two years. Still, he's shown he can be a contributor on both ends when healthy, and he registered 12 points and four rebounds in his debut for Detroit on Saturday.

Hamstring and back injuries have limited his season to just 29 games before the trade, but he was effective in limited action, averaging 5.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 14.2 minutes per game for the Cavs.

He only played 14 games for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2018-19 but averaged 15.1 points, 13.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per 36 minutes. It came after a solid 2017-18 campaign, where he started 69 of 76 games while averaging 8.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.

His 57.2 field-goal percentage was the best of his eight-year career. His play on both ends helped him rank fourth on the Bucks in win shares that year, per Basketball Reference, although he's struggled to get consistent playing time since then.

In Detroit, he should get more opportunity with Drummond gone and Blake Griffin injured.

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