CHICAGO – One interesting bit of scheduling news on the eve of the pre-draft camp, the largest annual gathering of NBA teams and college and international prospects: North Carolina power forward John Henson has a workout Monday in Sacramento.
The Kings have the fifth pick on June 28 and it would be hard to find another team that rates Henson that high. It could be a reach by a personnel boss, Geoff Petrie, with a good track record in the draft.
Or it could be exactly the right move.
For one thing, the consensus is that Henson is tracking to the 8-12 range with the draft about three weeks away, so No. 5 is not an insane reach. More importantly, the Kings are one of the worst, if not the worst, defensive teams in the league every season. They are desperate for help on that side of the ball, and Henson, though thin at 215 pounds, is a major prospect as a stopper. One executive said he will be a superstar on defense, while others prefer a slightly toned-down description that Henson is a game-changer on defense.
Henson does not need the ball on offense, making him the perfect pairing with center DeMarcus Cousins, a developing force on offense. That big-man package for 10 years is impossible for the Kings not to consider.
“It is something that can fit,” said Henson, who knows Cousins from their days in AAU ball and summer camps. “He’s a load down there. I think I can help them on the other side of the ball because he’s the man offensively down there. It’s one of the few things that you look at when you’re looking at teams to work out for.”
Henson has already had a workout with the Hornets for the No. 10 pick. He is scheduled to leave here Sunday evening for Sacramento, then visit with the Trail Blazers (6 and 11), Suns (13), Warriors (7), Rockets (14), Bucks (12), Raptors (8) and Pistons (9).