NBA Draft Profile: John Henson

By: Kels Dayton


6-11, 220 lbs.

Hometown: Tampa, FL

School: North Carolina

Class: Junior


Photo: Tampa Bay Times

STRENGTHS: John Henson is Anthony Davis Lite. He’s not as athletic or skilled as the Kentucky big man (who is?), but Henson is an incredibly long, gifted shotblocker with considerable potential. He averaged 2.9 blocks per game this past season with the Tar Heels, and grabbed 10.1 rebounds per contest. Henson is terrific on the offensive glass, and has shown the capability to score from the low block (13.8 ppg), and from a face-up position. He’s a good finisher around the rim and has a variety of post moves that could allow him to get buckets in the pros, provided he works hard on improving them. NBA scouts love these rail-thin 6-11 prospects with stratospheric potential, and that’s exactly what John Henson is.


WEAKNESSES: His strength. Henson is freakishly long yet impossibly thin; which makes him a target to get bullied around by the big bruisers that live in the NBA paint. He’s going to have to bulk up considerably in order to hold his own down there. Another disadvantage of being so incredibly tall is that it usually comes with a great deal of incoordination, which Henson suffers from. He struggles to move laterally and lacks ball skills. He also shot just 47 percent from the free throw line over his collegiate career, and lacks a sufficient mid-range game.


BOTTOM LINE: It’s hard not to like the Big Muppet, and NBA scouts will undoubtedly daydream about his length and shotblocking ability inside. The trouble is, there’s not a whole lot else that Henson brings to the table as an NBA prospect. He can rebound, sure, and runs well in transition, but Henson’s lack of strength might prove to be a major hurdle for him to get past in his quest to become a solid NBA big. There are truckloads of 6-11 lottery picks who end up in the D-League or playing overseas. Here’s hoping Henson doesn’t become one of them.

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