It is possible that the Charlotte Bobcats could trade down and try to pick up two draft picks in the lottery. Michael Jordan has several decisions to make, in regards to what he will do the second pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Arranging a deal with Portland, owners of the sixth and eleventh picks, wouldn’t be such a bad idea. This gives rise to this question: could we see John Henson in a Charlotte Bobcat uniform next season?
John Henson is in a similar position that Antawn Jamison faced in the 1998 NBA Draft. Jamison started out his career playing the small forward position. However, after several years in the NBA Jamison began to play more minutes at the power forward position. This predicament is one of few similarities between Henson and Jamison, besides playing power forward at the University of North Carolina and earning first team all-conference honors. Unlike Jamison, John Henson possesses more complete offensive skills at the college level.
The ACC’s 2011 and 2012 Defensive Player of the Year is not known for being a bruiser. Being physical does not describe Henson’s game. However, he has an uncanny ability at defending power forwards and centers. Henson knows how to play defense. His blocking ability is advanced, evident of his 2.9 blocks a game during the 2012 season which ranked 10th amongst all men’s collegiate basketball players. The 2012 season also marked the emergence of John’s jump shot. I felt like I was watching Rasheed Wallace during the 1995 season, when Henson shot the ball. In one summer, Rasheed helped Henson revamp his offensive game. The disadvantage to Henson’s jump shot is that he got a little too comfortable on the perimeter at times during games.
With the NBA Draft embarking on us in less than four weeks, I ponder what kind of role Henson will have in the NBA. Several current and former NBA players come to mind when I think of John Henson. Lamar Odom, Donyell Marshall, Derrick McKey, Jonathan Bender, Jared Jeffries, Walter McCarty, Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, Antawn Jamison, Charles Smith, Chris Bosh, Raef LaFrentz, and Earl Clark were/are “tweeners.” Many of these players played the small forward, power forward, and center positions at various points in their careers. I placed LaFrentz on this list because he started out his college career playing small forward for Roy Williams at Kansas. By the time he left Kansas in 1998, Raef was manning the center position. The other players spent time playing the small forward and power forward positions. Most of these players have had long successful careers in the NBA, with the exception of Jonathan Bender (career cut short due to injury) and Earl Clark (a four year veteran, which is not long). Being a tweener is not necessarily a bad thing; however, when you match with certain teams then not having a particular position can be a hindrance.
Roy Williams was unclear as to what position John Henson would play when he arrived in Chapel Hill. John started out as a small forward during his freshman year at Carolina. I think John will have a similar experience with the team who drafts him. He is indeed an interesting draft pick. John Henson will play both the small forward and power forward positions. I feel that he will eventually become a power forward, once he adds more bulk to his slender frame. As for his time spent donning the argyle and Carolina blue, Henson had that O’Koren number, one over Al Wood.