Submitted by Dakota Schmidt on behalf of Hoops Talk Nation
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The 2012 NBA Draft concluded on Thursday night with a familiar sense of uncertainty that all Bucks fans have been used to for more then a decade now. That sense of uncertainty only grew after the selection of North Carolina’s power forward, John Henson with the 14th pick. The reason why Bucks fans are confused with this pick is because Henson is another big man on a team that already has Udoh, Sanders, Gooden and now Samuel Dalembert. The pick is especially questionable when it comes a day after they traded down for the 14th pick and Samuel Dalembert who is a blocking machine just like John Henson.
The funny thing is I just honestly don’t know what I think of this pick of Henson. I agree with the argument that we have enough big men on this roster and Henson will just be another guy stuck in this crowded hell known as the Bucks power forward position. The thing that in my eyes though that separates Henson from the other generic blocking machines on our roster (looking at you Udoh and Dalembert) is that Henson last year proved he’s developing in to a nice offensive player with a developing mid range shot with a solid post move set to score with his back to the basket. Henson also has solid footwork and can finish at the basket making 62% of his non-post up shots at the rim. John is already more offensively skilled in my eyes then the likes of Udoh and Sanders (funny enough Draft Express listed Larry Sanders as the worst case scenario for Henson.)
Moving on to the bread and butter of Henson’s game which his ability to rebound and block shots. Henson has an awesome 7’5 wingspan and 9’4 standing reach which actually exceeds the 7 footer Andre Drummond. Those awesome measurements helped Henson block 3 shots per game in his junior season. John also brought down nearly 10 rebounds in the 30 minutes he averaged per game which is good but he might have a lot of difficulty against the bigger stronger big men in this league. During the 2012 draft combine Henson only had 5 reps at the standard 185 pounds while bench pressing. That’s alarming because guards like Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague and the 5’10 Tu Holloway both had more reps then Henson which is extremely questionable.
The addition of Henson leaves the Bucks with six guys at or over 6’8 which gives the Bucks some trade bait if they want to stay active during the offseason. Right now the Bucks have a need for some guards off the bench despite drafting Doron Lamb (who I’ll talk about later) that can be scoring threats from off the bench. Right now all the Bucks have is Beno Udrih, Delfino (expiring contract) and Mike Dunleavy who’s actually more of a forward then a guard. In my eyes we need to trade either Udoh or Sanders for a guard player because Udoh and Sanders are both similar defensive shot-blockers.
Drew Gooden on the other hand is a player I’d think will stick around for a while because of his contract and we’re going to need his offense more with the potential loss of Ilyasova. I’d start Drew Gooden and give him about 25 minutes to get his minutes and allow him to produce on offense and then put Henson in there for a good 15-20 minutes to have him progress in the NBA level. Henson could also use his length and wingspan to play some center behind the aging Samuel Dalembert who currently has a contract ending after the 2012-13 season.
Moving on now to the 2nd round drafting of Kentucky guard Doron Lamb who was the 6th man that played behind that loaded Kentucky lineup last season. Lamb’s main strength is his ability to shoot three’s with the greatest of ease. Last season Lamb knocked down 47 % of his shots from behind the three point line and nailed 76 of those three’s which was top 10 among the draft prospects. Lamb is a very versatile who can play both PG and SG and with his 8’3 wingspan he can play larger then his 6’4 height.
Doron is a quality ball-handler and extremely athletic so he can score around the basket which makes him an all-around good scorer. I think if he reaches his full potential he become a Jason Terry/Marcus Thornton player which would make an amazing and valuable pick at #42 where he was taken.
It’s kind for someone idiotic to grade a draft before you even see these prospects lace up their sneakers and play in the NBA but if I had to grade this draft I would give it a B-. The drafting of Henson was questionable because of the Dalembert signing but he could turn out to be a very good player in this league once he muscles up and improves a little bit offensively. Meanwhile I think the drafting of Lamb was a great pick and it was a must because it adds an offensive fireplug that can come off the bench and score with the greatest of ease. These two kids are going to be very interesting to watch to see how they develop and I’ll certainly be watching to see how they develop.