Sacramento Kings Draft Profiles: John Henson


John Henson
Power Forward/Center, 6’10”, 216 lbs.
Junior, University of North Carolina
21 years old
John Henson Highlights

2011-12 Stats: 13.7 PPG (50.0% FG, 51.0% FT, 0.0% 3FG), 9.9 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.6 SPG, 2.9 BPG, 1.3 TOPG

STRENGTHS: Just a solid, smart, savvy basketball player. John Henson is a long, lanky player who, with his 7’5″ wingspan, excels on the defensive end. The UNC product was a two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year thanks to his tremendous ability to block shots. Henson serves as a huge paint presence who blocks man-to-man and shows good instincts when coming over to help on other shooters. He also defends the pick-and-roll with great effectiveness. Offensively, Henson is probably better than most give him credit for. While he’ll never be a go-to scorer, he shows good touch from the outside and has developed some decent moves in the post that he should be able to improve over time. Henson shows good fundamentals on both ends — he’s coordinated, his footwork is sound, he knows where to position himself on the floor and he runs the floor well for a big.

WEAKNESSES: While Henson is clearly a solid player, some wonder if he has enough star potential to warrant a high selection. His frame needs strength, a fact he backed up by saying he wants to add 15 pounds over the next few years. Until then, he will get pushed around and will have to rely on his length and athleticism to get by. Offensively, the fundamentals are there but Henson has yet to show he can be counted on for a bucket. Think more of a Marcus Camby type of player who could do some things offensively but would never be a top option on that end of the floor.

HOW HE’D FIT WITH THE KINGS: Henson would be that shotblocker the Kings are looking for next to DeMarcus Cousins. Sacramento desperately needs defensive quality at basically every position, and someone of Henson’s caliber would be a huge addition. The great thing is Henson also knows what to do when defending on the perimeter and guarding a pick-and-roll, something the Kings have had trouble stopping for years. Offensively, Henson would also transition well. With Cousins drawing most of the touches and defensive attention, Henson can float, set screens, pop out for jumpers and clean up missed shots with his incredible length and rebounding ability. He can get up and down the court, a necessity if Keith Smart continues his push for up-tempo basketball. The only thing you worry about is his lack of strength. As such, he would be a reserve behind Jason Thompson until he shows he can handle the NBA punishment. But over time, he could start and play alongside any of the Kings big men.

APPROVAL: Yes…IF Kidd-Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson and Harrison Barnes are off the board. If the choice is between Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond and Henson, I think Henson definitely merits consideration for selection. You know what you’re going to get, and while it may not be a sexy pick with insane upside, Henson shows plenty of room for growth and his foundation as a Roy Williams student projects well. A potential ceiling of Camby or Serge Ibaka is nothing to sneeze at.

WHERE HE GOES: Sacramento (5) worked him out Monday, and that is likely the highest he could go. After the Kings, Henson could intrigue the Blazers (6, 11) as a running mate for LaMarcus Aldridge. The Pistons (9) are a popular prediction, and Henson’s tools basically ensure he will be a lottery selection.

More Kings Draft Profiles
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Harrison Barnes
Andre Drummond
Thomas Robinson