Gerald Henderson, SG, Duke
This kid really came into his own this year as he was not expected to be an '09 draftee just one year ago. Not sure if there's a player in the draft who shot up his draft stock in 1 year more so than Henderson. There were some questions about his height but tested okay at the predraft measurements (6'5” in shoes), just as tall as other SG's Wayne Ellington, Tyreke Evans, and James Harden. A solid 215 lbs, Henderson had the least body fat percentage in the draft. Also had one of the quickest ¾ court sprint times. He's in great shape. Expect many dunks from him at the next level (and I love his ability to dunk off of 2 feet).
Possesses possibly the best pull up mid range jump shot in this year's draft. Gets great elevation on his jumper and has very good form. Can go left or right with the dribble and rise up over his defender with the J. I believe this is the part of his game that reminds some posters on here of Kobe, the pull up jumper. Gerald also improved his three point range in his last season and there's no reason to believe that it won't keep improving with each season in the NBA. With his form and elevation the NBA line should be no problem extending out to.
Henderson uses his great athletic ability on the defensive end and has great timing to rise up and block shots despite his short size (similar, though not as good, to Dwyane Wade). Depending on how many minutes he's given in his career he could average close to a block a game some seasons. He also has a good sense for anticipating passes and getting into passing lanes. With his long arms (a near 6'11” wingspan) it's almost easy for him. He has the ability, with the right coaching, to be a very good defender. He's already half-way there just from his college teaching.
Two things I've noticed about Henderson is 1) he has a very good sense of knowing when to go for a backdoor cut and 2) he has great quickness when receiving the ball from a dribble hand-off and attacking the basket. The first one I think everyone has noticed. A simple play ran at Duke involved Henderson with the ball at the top of the key, passes it to Nolan Smith, then runs off of a screen to go back-door for the lob jam. He's not always going to be able to get those alley oops but that is an option. Another option that has become popular NBA wise is going off of that screen and spotting up in the corner for the 3. The dribble hand-off quickness is another strength of his. Henderson gets the dribble hand-off at the top of the key and attacks the rim quicker and as hard as anybody. He's a great finisher at the bucket and we'll be decent at getting to the free throw line at the next level.
I doubt Henderson's potential is more than a 16-18 point scorer in the league MAX. He lacks a desire to shoulder the offensive load for his team and would rather let a teammate be the go-to guy. Which isn't always a bad thing. If he can eventually become a 3rd option on a team that's the best place for him.
From little things I've seen it looks like the Bobcats have a liking for Gerald with the #12 pick. I watched a draftexpress interview of Gerald talking about how he knows Larry Brown from going to practices when he was younger, Gerald's best friend being the son of former Brown assistant Randy Ayers. Also that Larry's kids go to Gerald's old high school. The Bobcats are looking for both a SG and a C to play alongside Okafor. Since Thabeet will be long gone and I doubt they jump for Mullens this early (especially with Larry as coach), Henderson could go to them. One of Henderson's positives is that he's very polished and has the composure of a senior, which could get him on the floor early for Brown.
Comparison: Latrell Sprewell (luckily a complete opposite personality)
Best Fits: Charlotte (12), Detroit (15), Chicago (16)