- Measurables: 6-foot-10, 245 pounds, senior C from Georgetown
- Key Stats: 11.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 46 percent
- Projected: Mid to late second round
- Hickory High Similarity Score
Why I’m intrigued by this guy
What, you really expect me to argue against the Pistons taking an unselfish, great passing big man out of Georgetown? In the second round, you could do a lot worse than a decently athletic seven-footer who has a good attitude and is used to being a backup, making it likely he could adjust to being a role player in the NBA as well. Also, along with Greg Monroe, it’s pretty cool that Sims has a support system like this to help him along.
Pros for the Pistons
Sims fills a couple of pressing needs and could be on the board when the Pistons use the second of their two second rounders. He’s big, first and foremost, at nearly 7-feet tall with a long wingspan.
He’s also pretty fast and athletic. He can catch the ball inside and score around the basket. Like the man he backed up for two seasons, Monroe, Sims is a willing and good passer for a big man, so having two bigs who are constantly looking to pass for the Pistons wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Sims also could still have some untapped upside despite being a senior. He was only a starter for one of his four seasons at Georgetown after being a pretty decently regarded high school prospect. It’s possible that he could continue improving after he finally got a more prominent opportunity to play his final year of college.
Cons for the Pistons
Sims would be a similar pick to Vernon Macklin — a player who isn’t necessarily ancient by prospect standards, but the fact that he’s played four years in college does make it less likely he’ll make a significant leap forward. Macklin showed some flashes in very brief minutes last season, but if the Pistons plan on keeping him around (he’s a free agent), he’ll have to play more this season. It probably wouldn’t make sense, if that’s the plan, to bring in a similar project like Sims, who they would need to give minutes fairly quickly to evaluate whether or not he’s capable of being a rotation player or not. If the plan is to not bring Macklin back, then I’d be all for Sims (provided the Pistons are a little more committed to getting him occasional minutes with the NBA club or in the D-League than they were with Macklin most of the season).
Sims is also only a so-so rebounder. If he can defend, finish, run the floor and block an occasional shot, a lack of rebounding from a backup big who otherwise provides energy isn’t a huge issue, but it’s still probably something teams considering drafting him will scrutinize.
What others are saying
Sims played well against Kansas and Memphis. He is a fluid athlete who runs the floor, can score around the basket and seems to finally, after three seasons playing a backup role at Georgetown, be ready for the spotlight. I’m always leery of older big men who suddenly break out — especially when your career game is against Memphis’ weak interior defense. But when you look at what scouts were saying about him as a high school prospect, he’s worth a closer look as a potential second-round prospect if he keeps playing like that.
From the low block, Sims relies on an assortment of drop-steps, hook shots, and turnaround jumpers, showing the ability to turn off either shoulder and finish with either hand, though his touch isn’t great with either. He has a strong tendency to extend his drop-steps under the rim, where he likes finishing with reverse lay-ups, doing a good job utilizing his length to create separation. Sims struggles operating through contact and doesn’t really have a go-to move at this stage, showing inconsistent results with all aspects of his finesse game, and it’s not likely teams at the next level would look for him to create his own offense in the post.
Sims emerged as one of the more unique big men in college ball, after averaging in double figures while leading his team in assists and blocked shots. Sims has great size and deceptive quickness, and possesses a feel for the rim that allows him to score in the paint. If Sims can continue developing the midrange game, he’s be able to contribute in a variety of ways to an NBA front court.
“The last three years, people thought I was just wasting a scholarship,” Sims said. “It was painful to go through that for three years, not living up to what I knew I could do. I had people chirping about me, and it definitely hurt me.”
Sims returned home to Baltimore last summer and stayed longer than usual to work on his game and soak up the wisdom of his mother, Brenda.
“She told me this is your last go-around,” Sims recalled. “She said you don’t want to look back and say I wish I would have worked harder and would-have, could-have. She basically put everything into perspective. I controlled my destiny.”
Sims maintained his focus when he returned to Georgetown for his senior season.
“Some kids, it takes a while for the light to go off,” Thompson said.
Rewriting, however, can be refreshing.
“I finally feel like myself as a basketball player,” Sims said.
What is the best thing Henry Sims does for his team?
In the highlight video below, Henry summarizes himself and teammates as follows. “We play hard from beginning to end and . . . we handle our business on and off the court.” Sims certainly did that over the past year. A late bloomer after beginning his career behind (now-Piston) Greg Monroe, Sims flourished in his senior year, displaying his full range of skills as well as impressive athleticism. Big Hank led Georgetown in both blocked shots and assists, a testament to his versatility and a remarkable achievement even in a Georgetown offense that features its big men. Sims not only clogged the lane on defense but also was its vocal leader, directing a defense that ranked in the top ten nationally. Having stepped into the role of senior leader, Sims also stepped up his game on a bigger stage, putting up consecutive 20-10s in the Big East Tournament. In all, Sims is a skilled, athletic big man who’s still just scratching the surface of his ability.
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