2012 NBA Draft Combine Coverage: John Henson One of NBA Draft's Most Overrated Players - June 25
North Carolina's John Henson is one of the most overrated players in this year's NBA Draft. Of course he is, he was a member of the Tar Heels college basketball team, meaning he's going to get more publicicty than other, often more deserving prospects. North Carolina guys receive a brighter spotlight than what they deserve.
Henson is a gawky, gangly fellow who just has trouble putting on and keeping weight. That will hurt him at the next level. Still he can defend, meaning Serge Ibaka is someone Henson can pattern his game after.
"You want to be in a competitive draft and this is what it is for power forwards. We're going to fight and jockey for position these next few weeks," Henson said at the NBA Combine. Yes, indeed, it is a stacked draft at the four.
Henson has worked out with the Hornets, Bucks, Kings, Suns, and Blazers.
"I think I improved every year, which is what you want to do. Maturing and getting more physical is something I needed to do. Probably put in a little more time than other guys in this process, but I'm ready to take it to the next level," Henson said about his time spent in Chapel Hill.
You get the feeling that Henson is a little bit like fellow Tar Heels big-man Tyler Hansbrough; neither left school early because they weren't good enough. No one wanted either forward after their first year. Contrast that with someone like Harrison Barnes, who could have easily left after his freshman season.
So where does Henson fit?
"It's very important because just from talking to everybody, there's a lot of trade talk. I feel like this draft is wide open for anyone. The right situation can be the difference between an okay career and a great career."
What about the big knock on Henson, his lack of size and strength?
"Basketball is about strength, but if you go out there, hold your own, and play well, they can't say much about it. I do say I'm stronger than I look, and I'm ready to prove that to people," he says about the critics.
Maybe he's a "project pick" who'll hit his stride later in his NBA career?
"I don't think people hit their full strength until they're 25, 26 years old, so I've got a while to go before that happens so I'm just going to keep improving and getting better."
2012 NBA Draft Combine Coverage: Deron Williams Interested in Only Brooklyn or Dallas - June 25
Brooklyn Nets star Deron Williams has narrowed his list of suitors down to just two teams: his hometown Dallas Mavericks or staying put with the Nets. Multiple outlets are reporting this, citing sources.
There are a ton of teams interested in Williams, who is arguably the greatest point guard in the league, but he has made it clear, or at least his agent has, that he wants to either relive his glory days in Texas with The Colony high school or remain with Jay-Z's team.
Earlier it was rumored Jason Kidd, a player whom Williams was often compared to when he was drafted out of Illinois in 2005, wishes to sign with the same team as the ex-Illini star and back him up. Next month we'll know either way.
2012 NBA Draft Combine Coverage: Damian Lillard to Be First Point Guard Drafted? - June 25
Because he played at obscure Weber State, you may not have heard of point guard Damian Lillard. But you will hear plenty about him come NBA Draft night; he just might be the first point guard taken, and looks to be a lock for the lottery. Mid-major guys are often overlooked, and Lillard is no exception; even though he has, and pretty much has always had, all the tools.
"I think a lot of people talk about me playing at a smaller school, at Weber State, and I think camps like this are a perfect opportunity to show that I can play to the level of everyone else in the draft," Lillard said at the NBA Draft Combine.
I think playing in our offense at Weber State, they needed me to score points; for us to be successful I had to score, but in the NBA, I'll be surrounded by NBA-level players and it'll be more likely for me to make plays for other guys and I won't have to be such a dominant offensive player; less responsibility; I definitely think I can be a point guard in this league," he continued.
Lillard has shot up the boards due to three factors: one, it's a very weak point guard class; two, Weber State had a great season; three, his age and experience which give him certain advantages over other prospects.
Here's where we have Lillard in our latest mock draft:
Since they added some size with their earlier pick, the Hornets should look to bolster their backcourt depth. Damian Lillard would be a future replacement for Jarrett Jack. If Lillard ends up going to the Blazers at No. 6, Kendall Marshall would be the next best option.
And here's our summary of Lillard from our detailed scouting report on him-
Summary: Playing against inferior competition in the Big Sky Conference, Lillard had a monster junior season, finishing second in the nation in scoring. He hasn't displayed the ability to be a true distributor since he needed to be a scorer for the Wildcats, so that is a bit of a concern. Still, Lillard has a chance to be the first point guard taken in what is a weak class at the position. He should get selected somewhere from the late lottery to mid-first round.
Player Comparison: Jarrett Jack. Lillard is more of a scoring point guard than a true floor general just like Jack. Both guys have good size for the next level, and can attack the tin or shoot it from deep.