Gerald HendersonIt’s weird to consider the co-captain of the Charlotte Bobcats likely won’t be re-signed. Gerald Henderson has a lot of value as a scorer, but couldn’t start on the Boston Celtics. He likely couldn’t start on most contenders. But that doesn’t negate his value, nor the fact he could potentially be a great sixth man for the team that chooses to sign him in 2013.
Henderson is only 24, and at 6’5″, he’s too small to play small forward. The C’s already have Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee for the long-haul, so signing Henderson only makes sense if he comes at an extreme bargain. The 12th pick in the 2009 draft averaged 15 points per game last year while shooting nearly 46 percent from the floor.
He needs to add a three point shot to take his game to the next level. Last year he shot just 23 percent from behind the arc, and if he’s going to become a starting-level guard for a good team, he’s going to have to become a threat from three point range.
Henderson’s defense is good, but could be better, and it’s quite possible that on a better team with more interior presence, that he would be even better given the fact he could gamble more. Last year, he averaged just under a steal per game, but with Bismack Biyombo as the only shot blocker on the Bobcats roster (and him seeing limited minutes as a rookie), we don’t know what Henderson is capable with the luxury of having a shot blocker backing him up on defense.
It really all comes down to what the bidding war places Henderson’s price at. If he could be signed for a lower level exception, he becomes a player worth taking a look at. If he can improve his defense and learn to cover small forwards who are two to three inches taller, he becomes immensely valuable.
These are all things that will be determined in the upcoming season as he showcases his abilities in a contract year. Expect Henderson to have a career year for a horrible team. His value, however, remains unclear.