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2012 NBA Draft Lottery: Detroit Pistons Get 9th Pick, Could Take North Carolina's John Henson

ESPN's Chad Ford Says the Pistons Could Take the Former North Carolina Star

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY| With the ninth pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons select North Carolina's John Henson?

Well, that's how ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford sees things playing out for Dee-troit basketball during June 28's selection process. For the time being, of course. Ford warns that the Mock Draft 5.0 will "greatly fluctuate" during the upcoming weeks. Based on his knowledge, Ford writes that the Pistons would select Henson today.

Well, not getting a higher pick irks some in Detroit. OK. The word "irks" doesn't really cut it. Pistons fans are probably more than mad that they're not getting Kentucky's Anthony Davis or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, two of this year's draft most-coveted players.

And it doesn't look like the Pistons will land UConn's Andre Drummond, either. Could be worse; the same is true for the majority of NBA teams.

Henson isn't exactly a player with a lukewarm career forecast. He's one of the best forwards in this year's draft. His insane 7-foot-4 wingspan may just be what Detroit needs -- a long rebounder to accompany Greg Monroe -- who is arguably one of the most-improved players in the NBA -- in the paint and near the glass.

At 6-11 and 220 pounds, Henson is similar in height (50 pounds lighter) to Drummond, a player I wouldn't mind seeing in Detroit. Henson could be just as productive. But he's not my ideal pick.

The former All-American power forward averaged nearly 14 points and 10 rebounds during his junior season. He was one of the country's most effective post scorers, most athletic, and arguably one of the fiercest competitors in college hoops.

Henson comes with relatively high ratings from NBA Draft Net, a site dedicated to the draft, of course. Overall, Henson scores a 93, based on a 10-point system spanning 12 categories.

Henson's obvious strengths are his size, athleticism and defensive skills, which each received an "8" or higher from NBA Draft Net.

The obvious downside to Henson is his weight. He's just 220 pounds, so he'll need to bulk up if he's to bang inside with the likes of high-end NBA centers like Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard. That's the same gripe about Davis, who won the 2012 Naismith Award.

However, I'm still pro-Drummond, should the former UConn slip to ninth overall. He's 6-11, 270 pounds. That's a centerpiece.

Essentially, Henson would be another Monroe-like player based on size comparison (and projected weight gain). My initial thoughts on the Pistons' draft needs were those of a powerful center, not a power forward. However, Henson had a well-rounded career with the Tar Heels, making it incredibly hard to deny his potential based on college credentials alone.

Check back for Pistons NBA Draft analysis in the future.

Adam Biggers has followed the NBA for over 20 years, specifically the Detroit Pistons. He can be found on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.

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