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John Henson to Pistons in ESPN’s updated mock draft

Chad Ford of ESPN:

Analysis: Meyers Leonard occupied this spot for roughly six hours before Henson reclaimed it. Why? Henson, Leonard, Tyler Zeller, Perry Jones, Terrence Jones and Jared Sullinger all worked out in Detroit on Monday and the consensus was that Henson really shined. The Pistons really need a shot-blocker and Henson fits the bill.



  • Jun 25, 20129:50 pm
    by Stuckey and whoever


    Arnette Moultrie…lead the SEC in rebounding over Anthony Davis.  Young Antonio Mcdyess 2.0, but he is bigger.  More NBA ready then Henson in my eyes and still athletic.  I think he is a steal.

  • Jun 25, 20129:55 pm
    by Vince


    NBADraft has the Pistons taking Henson at 9, Miles Plumlee at 39 and Hollis Thompson at 44. I’d much rather Joe D takes Leonard or Moultrie at 9 and take Kevin Murphy and Drew Gordon in the Second Round.

  • Jun 25, 201210:02 pm
    by MarkS


    I’m just excited to finally even out this roster and add some size.  We should get a couple quality bigs in a couple days.

  • Jun 25, 201210:10 pm
    by Alan


    Last year we were expected to take Triatan Thompson and he went early. I wonder who could fall if (IF) Henson was gone when Detroit drafts.

  • Jun 25, 201210:16 pm
    by ray


    Henson got pushed around way too much in college and will get bullied in the NBA…he is not the answer….and he is 21 years old took him almost 4 years to 25-30…he wont see 230 for another 5 years …. I really do not like the pick…. he is just too weak….

    • Jun 25, 201210:19 pm
      by Nate


      Agreed. Meyers Leonard would be my pick. I’m hoping that this is just a smokescreen by Detroit to try and prevent teams desperate for a center (Milwaukee, Houston) from trading picks with someone ahead of us to get Leonard.

  • Jun 25, 201210:31 pm
    by ray


    im soo confused….we talk about needing a game changing athlete for years…. now with the 9th pick there will be about 3 to 4 athletic bigs that will be available…and we are going to draft the most physically challenged one?

    • Jun 26, 201212:05 am
      by Mark


      I’m confused too as to how Henson is the most NBA ready like a lot of ppl are saying. Then they also say ”but he will need to put on about 15-20lbs”. So is he going to gain 15-20 lbs by October? I don’t get it. If not, I don’t see how he is going to be NBA ready. imo, he’s the LEAST ready to contribute right away.

      • Jun 26, 201211:18 am
        by CNA5


        He’s never going to play much above 230.  There’s a huge difference between size and strength.  He’s always going to be on the small side and will likely be unable to effectively guard guys with length and bulk (think: Marc Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Hibbert, etc.).  Keep in mind, Camby played the majority of his career at 6’11 230.  Rasheed also was 6’11 230.  Serge Ibaka plays around (6’10) 235.  Josh Smith (another athletic forward) plays around 230 as well.  The key, really, is if he has enough strength to at least slow his man in the post for help to come.
        His two positive attributes do project positively to the next level- weakside help shotblocking defender and an excellent rebounder.  His length and ability to get off the floor fast translate well.  That’s why many view Henson as most NBA ready.  The things he does well right now are based on physical attributes that translate- lateral quickness across the lane, timing shots as they leave hands, quickness on stepping out on pick and rolls, and having excellent hands around the rim for lobs and put backs.  Those will all be there on the next level, even at 220 lbs.
        The real issue with Henson is:
        1.  Can he at least hold defensive position in the post against most teams’ smaller of the two bigs.  This is a legitimate question where the answer may be no.  That’s why the Pistons (presumably) brought Henson in with a large group of bigs (including Leonard) to test him.
        2.  Is that FT issue mechanical or mental?  Most think it’s mechanical and will require work.  He has no offensive game outside 10 feet.  He’s crafty with a hook shot with his long arms and quick leaping.  He has a nice spin move baseline.  He’s very good at cutting through the lane and finishing and also running in transition.
        Moultrie and Leonard have not shown Henson’s ability to block shots.  Both struggle covering on the pick and roll.  Both players are better offensive prospects than Henson, but it’s unclear if Leonard has the overall skill set to defend true centers or become a weak side shotblocker on the next level outside of a zone.  (UNC played mostly man defense)  Moultrie, while a gifted athlete and a very good rebounder, is a head scratcher with his 0.8 bpg.  How does a 6’10 235 lb power forward with excellent athleticism and a 7’4 wingspan not show a propensity to block shots?
        The workout was a big key because they got to see how Henson battled 1v1 in the post defensively.  I don’t know if this is a smoke screen or not (it could be).  But, if we AssUMe this is true, it bodes well for Henson’s ability as a pro prospect.  That was a pretty big workout.

  • Jun 25, 201210:42 pm
    by Haan


    Looks like Henson has the inside track as of now, if Ford’s info is good, although several different things could still happen.  I wouldn’t mind Henson, but would prefer that they go all out by trading up for Drummond or by drafting Leonard. If it’s Henson, I worry about a couple of things the pick would suggest (given his superior abililty to contribute right away over the other two): (1) the team overestimating its current talent base (as Gores appears to do) and (2) Dumars succumbing to the pressure to try to make it to the playoffs next year, as opposed to calmly building for 3 years hence. 

    • Jun 26, 201211:37 am
      by CNA5


      Let me ask you a couple of questions:
      1.  If you trade up for Drummond, who/what do you trade?  How high do you try to trade?  5?  7?  The #9 pick and both 2nds probably won’t get you to 5.
      My gut tells me that the Pistons will try to get Drummond if they can.  And, if for some reason he falls to 9, they’ll take a shot on him.  (again, this is purely my opinion)
      2.  Why do you think that the Pistons ‘overestimate its current talent base’?
      Here’s a number for you.  44.  44 wins often is enough to make the playoffs as an 8 seed.  Given that the Pistons played a stretch (after the dreadful start and before ‘experimenting’) where they went 20-20, there’s enough evidence to suggest that they should be in contention for the 8th playoff spot.
      When you factor in that the Pistons didn’t even have a zone defense (most teams employ multiple) because of the shortened training camp and a new coach, it’s not unreasonable to assume some improvement.
      I don’t think anyone in that organization believes that they are one player away from contending.  There are a lot of talented players in this draft that don’t have complete games yet.  Drummond has a huge frame with excellent athleticism, but is years behind with offensive post footwork and struggles to focus.  Moultrie is not a good defender at this stage, despite having the physical tools to be one.  Henson is slight of frame and lacks polish offensively outside of 10 feet.  But, he’s a great shotblocker and rebounder.  Zeller runs the floor well, finishes well around the rim, and has a few craft post moves.  UNC struggled mightily defensively when Henson was hurt in the ACC tournament.
      And, this all may be moot if there’s a run on bigs early and a talent like Lilliard or Kidd-Gicrist or Barnes drops to 9.  Remember, the Pistons drafted Knight without a workout because they never anticipated he’d drop below 5 (many had Knight drafted in mocks at 3).

  • Jun 25, 201210:52 pm
    by Vince


    Only Leonard or Zeller fit with the Pistons, Henson is too weak physically and Drummond is too flawed in general. Leonard and Zeller are low risk, high reward picks, Drummond is high risk high reward and Henson is high risk low reward. Don’t draft the kid.

    • Jun 25, 201211:05 pm
      by Shane


      I’m pretty sure zeller isnt high reward

      • Jun 26, 20124:29 am
        by Tom Y.


        And Leonard isn’t low risk

    • Jun 26, 20121:03 am
      by Stuckey and whoever


      What happened to Moultrie you were promoting earlier?

      • Jun 26, 20124:56 am
        by Vince


        @Shane Zeller is a much more polished player then Henson, he’s physical, he can rebound he can shoot and he’s a shot-blocker. 

        @Tom Y. Leonard is low risk, his athleticism is off the charts, the dude is 7ft1 and has huge reach, he’d be waaaay more NBA ready then Henson, dude is huge and has a better game imo.

        @Stuckey and whoever, Moultrie, Harkless and Fab Melo are in my opinion sleepers in this draft, Harkless has had a strong draft combine performance and has been wowing everyone, Moultrie has always had a consistent game and he’s a solid player. Fab Melo still has room to improve but the guy has size and game, I like all three prospects but I think taking them with the 9th pick might be a reach, I’d take Leonard or Zeller over them, but I’d take any of that trio over Henson. That being said, its no knock on Henson, he’s just not what the Pistons need.

  • Jun 25, 201211:49 pm
    by wbexclusive



  • Jun 26, 201212:10 am
    by G


    Pistons need to be rebuilt. ‘Start a fire to build a new forest’. The only two untradable players in my eyes are Monroe and Knight, as they are our foundation for the next decade.

    Our four largest contracts are (in descending order) Gordon, Stuckey, Villanueva, and Prince. As much as I love Stuckey and Prince, the only way to get rid of Gordon or Villanueva is for them to be paired in a trade with a valuable asset like Stuckey or Prince. 

    Trade Stuckey, Gordon, and Prince for a pick between 2-5. This way we get another future star in this draft and clear 25 million off the books. Most of those teams between picks 2 and 5 have the cap space to take on this kind of money, and I’m sure one of them will be willing to do it (both Cleveland and Sacramento have claimed to be looking to see what value they’ll get for their picks). Now amnesty CV. This is another 8 million gone.  

    This gives us a starting lineup of Knight, Barnes or Beal or Gill Kidchrist (from the pick we traded for), Jerebko, Monroe, and Leonard (forget Henson, going nowhere). Now we have 30 million to spend in free agency to get established and veteran players. Ersan Ilyasova would be a great hard working blue collar Pistons type player to spread the floor for Monroe. We could even go for Hibbert, or Nash! Or save the money for a super super star. The possibilities are endless. 

    If teams won’t do Stuckey, Gordon, and Prince for a pick because it is too much money for them to want to do, we could do Stuckey Gordon and our 9th pick. Still worth it because all these big guys at 9 (leonard, sullener, moultrie, seller, henson) have too many major concerns with them. And we still clear a bunch of money off the books.

    What do you think?

    • Jun 26, 20126:12 am
      by tarsier


      “Most of those teams between picks 2 and 5 have the cap space to take on this kind of money”

      You’re talking about taking on approximately $27.7M. I don’t think you realize how rare that kind of cap space is.

      2nd pick: Charlotte ($15.0M of cap space)
      3rd pick: Washington ($12.4M of cap space)
      4th pick: Cleveland ($26.5M of cap space)
      5th pick: Sacramento ($13.9M of cap space)

      Your premise that most of these 4 teams (I assume most would mean at least 3, not the almost 1 that is actually the case) have the cap space to absorb 3 large contracts for a pick is absolutely false. Granted, I don’t think any of them would take such a deal anyway. But they aren’t allowed to even if they went off their rockers and decided they wanted to.

  • Jun 26, 201212:22 am
    by Daye and Knight


    Dwights agent just said Howard wouldn’t stay in Houston if they traded up in the draft and made a deal with Orlando. If that’s true then maybe Houston will stay put and keep their 14 & 16 pick…though they still are trying to move Lowry and Martin (who could end up being traded to the Timberwolves) assuming the teams picking in the top 8 stay the same we could end up with Drummond anyways. Golden State would be our biggest hurdle if Portland takes Lillard and I keep seeing that they really like Dion Waiters with that pick…we’re a few days away and I can’t wait to see who we pick so I can sleep peacefully..depending on who that pick is lol

  • Jun 26, 20121:33 am
    by BIG MARV


    I just saw nba TV’s mock draft and they got Austin Rivers at the no.9 spot…. I hope not that will be a disaster for detrot, that will be a Matt Millen move when he use to draft all those WR every year.

  • Jun 26, 20129:28 am
    by Butterscotch


    AUSTIN RIVERS!!!!!!!!Please Joe!!!

  • Jun 26, 20121:45 pm
    by ray


    The best teams in the play-offs had game changing players …who could create mismatch problems…. Henson is a safe pick that’s all …… Just good enough so that we will be around the 13th pick next year…. We take a risk ..on a perry jones… If he pans out….it changes the pistons for years to come…..

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