There have been questions about whether John Henson had the necessary bulk to play inside in the NBA after he weighed just 216 pounds at the draft combine in 2012.
But the Milwaukee Bucks took Henson with the 14th overall pick out of North Carolina in the 2012 draft and he’s been extremely efficient in his two seasons with the Bucks, even with his playing time per game more than doubling in 2013-14 as he had to fill in for Larry Sanders in the middle for a lot of the season.
Now there are reports that may become a more permanent thing, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal-Times:
Based on what I’m hearing, that weight and strength John Henson added should pay off as the Bucks opening-game starting center.
— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) August 26, 2014
Bucks coach Jason Kidd guided the Brooklyn Nets to one of the best records in the NBA after Jan. 1 last year, even without center Brook Lopez, in part because he embraced the small-ball revolution, often times starting Kevin Garnett at center, Paul Pierce at power forward, Joe Johnson at small forward and two points guards in Shaun Livingston and Deron Williams.
Kidd has already talked about playing 6-foot-11 Giannis Antetokounmpo at point guard and throwing Henson in the middle would just be another twist.
Henson averaged 11.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.6 assists in 26.5 minutes per game last season, shooting .538/.000/.514.
Henson’s player efficiency rating of 17.9 was the highest on the team last season among players with at least 1,000 minutes (the NBA average is considered to be 15).
Of course, if Henson does start at center, it means Sanders doesn’t—thus making that four-year, $44 million extension given to Sanders before last season look like that much more of a bad investment.