Raptors eyeing Henson at No. 8? 0
UNC forward John Henson is a potential choice for the Raptors in the NBA draft at No. 8. (JOHN GRESS/Reuters file photo)
With under a week remaining before Thursday's NBA Draft, Toronto's big board isn't getting any clearer.
Actually, if anything, it's going in the other direction.
The team was believed to have narrowed its list to a handful of players expected to be around at No. 8 next Thursday - Weber State point guard Damian Lillard, Connecticut guard Jeremy Lamb and Syracuse guard Dion Waiters - but another name appears to have entered the conversation.
Multiple team sources told QMI Agency that they were impressed with North Carolina power forward John Henson's workout at the ACC on Thursday.
Though the franchise has little need for another power forward, Raptors vice-president of basketball operations Ed Stefanski did tell the media after the workout: "I think you've got to go with who you think is best even if it's the same thing because you have trades and things like that you can do down the road."
Henson duplicates fellow UNC alum Ed Davis a bit, but is longer and an even better shot-blocker. Andrea Bargnani and Amir Johnson are also best suited to the position, though both have played in the middle at times in the past.
Henson is a very good athlete, has great length and projects as an elite shot-blocker in the NBA. He is rail thin and has a long way to go offensively, but has drawn comparisons to another svelte ex-Raptor, Marcus Camby.
Even though there are more pressing needs elsewhere (small forward and point guard being the most obvious) Henson's workout has given the Raptors something to think about.
The Detroit Pistons are also reportedly high on Henson. They own the No. 9 selection, a spot behind the Raptors.
The Florida native averaged 13.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game this past season, shooting 50% from the field, but just 51.1% from the free throw line.