|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: UNC PF John Henson||06.20.12 at 6:31 am ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.
Position: Power forward
School: North Carolina
Weight: 220 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-ACC first team, 2012 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, 2011 All-ACC second team, 2011 ACC Defensive Player of the Year
Key 2011-12 stats: 13.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, 50 FG%, 29.1 minutes
What he brings: Henson, who enters the draft after three college seasons, has a freakish 7-foot-4 wingspan which combines with his height to make him a monster defensive player. He is a pure shot-blocker who can cover the court extremely well. His size and length also allow him to be a great rebounder. The 21-year-old runs the floor well and uses his size to make him an easy target for his teammates as he scores most of his baskets thanks to his teammates’ playmaking abilities.
The UNC product needs to put on weight to be successful at the next level. He too often avoids contact, using only his size and length on offense, and his lateral movement can be awkward at times. His jump shot still needs work, and his low-post play isn’t polished. There also seems to be focus issues with Henson and as he seems only under control on defense.
The most ready aspect of Henson’s game is his defense, as he should be a shot-blocking presence in the NBA immediately. However, offensively he is still a project. He is projected as a top-10 pick with a major upside.
Where the Celtics could get him: Henson is considered to be a top-10 pick, so it would require a major trade for the C’s to get in range to draft him.
Notes: Henson is fourth on the all-time blocks list in North Carolina history and had more blocks than any sophomore in UNC history. His father, Matt Henson, played basketball at Norfolk State.
Video: Here are highlights of Henson’s 2011-12 season.