SLAMonline Mock Draft: Gerald Henderson, No. 20
by Ben Osborne
As your default Utah Jazz “writer,” (no, I’m not sure why it keeps happening either. Matt the Jazz fan needs to get his writing game up), I’m happy to select Gerald Henderson with the 20th pick of the 2009 SLAMonline Mock Draft.
I was all set to freshen up the Jazz backcourt and give DWill an electric back-up who could’ve played with him for about 10 minutes a game as well in Eric Maynor, but Myles and the TWolves beat me to that Monday.
That left Henderson, and I have no qualms taking him here; in fact, I’m pretty surprised he is still on the board. Given the emotions involved with many of our contributors, I’m guessing Henderson dipped a bit on here due to “Duke hate.” I’m not a Duke fan myself, but I feel like dude is the classic “best player available.” And considering how hard it is to truly, truly fill a need at #20, I think the Jazz will go in that best available direction. Which will be Henderson’s direction.
While not a refined shooter or ballhandler (shot just 34 percent on 3s last year and ended his college career with a 1-for-14 fiasco against Villanova—admittedly a problem when you’re listed at 6-5, 215), Henderson is still a supreme athlete, gifted at taking the ball to the rim and making exciting plays on offense and defense. He has also shown a great basketball IQ during his high-profile high school and college careers, no surprise given his basketball roots (more on that at the end of this post). His college stats improved pretty much across the board during his three seasons in Durham, and there’s no reason to think he won’t keep getting better.
I think at his best, Henderson could actually push the average Ronnie Brewer for starter’s minutes in the Jazz backcourt, but even if that didn’t pan out, there are always at least bench minutes for players who boast athleticism, hustle and knowledge of the game.
The height and advanced skill sets aren’t quite there with Gerald, but I do see some “poor man’s Grant Hill” potential in dude. A wing player with a spotty jumper who loves to attack the rim and makes good decisions? And of course, one who went to Duke and has a former pro athlete for a father? Makes some sense, no?
For those of you too young to remember, Gerald Henderson Sr was a very solid NBA PG throughout the ’80s. Son is a much more dynamic athlete than pops was, but in terms of ultimate effectiveness, if Jr matches something to the effect of Sr’s career averages of 9 points and 4 assists per game over an 871-game NBA career, and does it mostly for the Jazz, than I have made a nice pick here.
|2009 SLAMonline Mock Draft Results|
|1||L.A. Clippers||Blake Griffin|
|2||Memphis Grizzlies||Hasheem Thabeet|
|3||Oklahoma City Thunder||Ricky Rubio|
|4||Sacramento Kings||Brandon Jennings|
|5||Washington Wizards||Jordan Hill|
|6||Minnesota Timberwolves||Demar DeRozan|
|7||Golden State Warriors||James Harden|
|8||New York Knicks||Stephen Curry|
|9||Toronto Raptors||Tyreke Evans|
|10||Milwaukee Bucks||Jonny Flynn|
|11||New Jersey Nets||DeJuan Blair|
|12||Charlotte Bobcats||Terrence Williams|
|13||Indiana Pacers||Earl Clark|
|14||Phoenix Suns||Jrue Holiday|
|15||Detroit Pistons||B.J. Mullens|
|16||Chicago Bulls||Sam Young|
|17||Philadelphia 76ers||Ty Lawson|
|18||Minnesota Timberwolves||Eric Maynor|
|19||Atlanta Hawks||Patty Mills|
|20||Utah Jazz||Gerald Henderson|