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Henson suffered a torn ligament in his left wrist in mid-November and ended up missing the remainder of the season following surgery. Through 14 appearances with the Bucks, he posted averages of 5.6 points (46.3 FG%, 35.5 3P%, 60.0 FT%), 5.1 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 0.8 threes, 0.8 blocks and 0.5 steals in 13.4 minutes per game. While he drained 11 threes compared to only one in his first six seasons combined, he finished the campaign with a career-low scoring average and a career-worst field goal percentage. Moreover, he also saw his lowest allotment of minutes since his rookie year. The dip in field-goal efficiency can largely be attributed to his willingness to step out beyond the arc, as 2.2 of his 4.8 shot attempts per game came from downtown. On the Cavaliers, Henson will be competing for minutes with the likes of Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Larry Nance Jr. and Ante Zizic. Barring trades or injuries, there's little reason to enter 2019-20 with big expectations for Henson.
Henson started 69 of 76 appearances with the Bucks last season -- a role that he is highly unlikely to occupy this season due to the signing of Brook Lopez. Though Henson will presumably be the first man off the bench, that could fluctuate depending on Thon Maker’s development. To project Henson’s production, it may be best to look at his stats from 2016-17, when he saw 19.4 minutes per game. Then, he averaged 6.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. As a result, Henson should only be considered in deep Fantasy formats.
Despite being given a four-year, $44 million extension by the Bucks in October of 2015, Henson played just 16.8 minutes per game during the 2015-16 campaign and 19.4 minutes per game last season. While it seems likely the Bucks’ brass offered him the deal assuming he would continue to improve, the 26-year-old has shown little development as a player over the past few years, and has arguably gotten worse since signing the deal. In his somewhat limited minutes, Henson posted 6.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 58 appearances with the team – missing games via a combination of a thumb injury and coach’s decisions. Now, considering the seemingly set-in-stone role of Greg Monroe, the emergence of Thon Maker, and a trade bringing in Spencer Hawes, Henson’s route to consistent playing time seems muddier than ever. As a result, selecting the 6-foot-11 center in a Fantasy draft comes with significant risk, as his stock is seemingly as fluid as can be. If he’s available in the late rounds, he might be worth a flier considering his ability as a rebounder and shot-blocker, but coach Jason Kidd has shown little confidence in Henson’s potential as an everyday player.
Henson was handed a four-year, $44 million extension prior to last season, and the assumption was that his role would be enhanced accordingly. Instead, mainly as a byproduct of coach Jason Kidd’s reluctance to use him alongside starting center Greg Monroe due to the lack of shooting range of both players, Henson actually saw his playing time decline to 16.8 minutes per game over his 57 appearances. His averages of 7.0 points (on 56.4% shooting), 3.9 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 0.9 assists per game were quite impressive considering his light minutes, with his elite rim protection representing his greatest attribute. Though Monroe’s playing time took a slight hit in the second half of the season, Henson wasn’t really able to take advantage of the extra minutes available, as a back injury took him out of the mix for an extended stretch and opened up more time for Miles Plumlee at center. Though he doesn’t have a standout skill like Henson does with his shot-blocking ability, Plumlee clearly impressed Kidd with his two-way play, and was granted a lavish contract (four years, $52 million) of his own. The Bucks appear motivated to trade away Monroe, but until that materializes, Henson could struggle to see consistent minutes to begin the upcoming season while three centers remain in the mix. And even if Monroe is ultimately dealt, it seems likely that Henson and Plumlee will roughly split the duties at center, limiting the overall fantasy upside of both big men.
Entering his fourth NBA season, the 24-year-old Henson find himself the longest tenured member of the team, a fact that speaks volumes about the Bucks' commitment to change. Henson finished last season with averages of 7.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks in just over 18 minutes per game (67 games). A pick-and-roll threat with a 7-5 wingspan, Henson is far and away Milwaukee's top rim-protector and volume rebounder, though Greg Monroe is a skilled rebounder as well. Henson's performance in Round 1 of the playoffs against the Bulls was enough to convince coach Jason Kidd that he's capable of handling a more significant role, but the addition of Monroe will again relegate Henson to the bench. Henson projects to serve as the primary backup at center, as Monroe will shift back to his natural spot after playing out of position in Detroit. The pair are unlikely to play together for more than a few minutes at a time, but given Henson's superior defensive abilities, he could very well find himself on the floor in clutch situations more often than Monroe.
Last season was supposed to be the year Henson came into his own as an NBA player. After an encouraging rookie season that included a few eye-popping stat lines, Henson was poised to push the struggling Ersan Ilyasova for the starting power forward role. However, despite an onslaught of injuries to Ilyasova, Larry Sanders, and plenty of others, Henson was never able to solidify a starting role. In 70 games, he finished 2013-14 with averages of 11.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks in 27 minutes per game. Prorated over 36 minutes, Henson's numbers come out to 15.1 points and 9.6 rebounds – a very respectable line for a young forward. The problem for Henson is going to be finding that type of playing time on a nightly basis. Sure, former coach Larry Drew's puzzling rotations are now a thing of the past, but how Jason Kidd will handle the North Carolina product's minutes remains to be seen. The Bucks have a glut of players in the frontcourt, and Henson will again find himself battling with more experience players for starter's minutes. He'll likely open in a similar role to last season as the first big man off the bench, but his role could significantly increase if the Bucks are able to move Ilyasova at the trade deadline or sooner.
The second year man out of North Carolina will look to build on a strong close to the 2012-13 season. His role was minimal for much of the year, but he emerged as a standout rebounder and solid interior defender when given the chance (see: 17 points, 25 rebounds, seven blocks on Apr. 10). Larry Sanders is deeply entrenched as the starting center, but it would not be a surprise if Henson pushed Ersan Ilyasova for the starting power forward spot at some point. Regardless, he should see his role increase dramatically compared to last season.
The Bucks’ first-round pick in this year's draft, Henson brings rare athleticism for a player his size. He figures to play a role off the bench, but he may miss the beginning of the season due to a knee injury and probably won’t be guaranteed minutes right away. Henson’s talent is apparent, so don’t be surprised if his playing time picks up over the course of the season.