Shooting guard Gerald Henderson is the newest Portland Trail Blazer coming over in the trade that sent Nicolas Batum to the Charlotte Hornets, power forward Noah Vonleh. He'll have a tall order replacing former shooting guard and fan favorite Wesley Matthews but is Gerald Henderson reason enough for Portland Trail Blazers fans to be optimistic this season?
Let's take a look at what Henderson has done thus far in his NBA career.
Henderson has been an NBA starter for roughly 75 percent of his career; he's a proven scorer from inside as well as outside of the arc. As evidenced by his declining turnover ratio in the chart above he knows how to take care of the ball and that will be important on a rebuilding team such as Portland.
Henderson was roundly criticized for his 2014-2015 drop in scoring but as seen in the chart above he averaged four less minutes per night which could have more to do with the drop in scoring than anything else. His overall numbers don't scream Michael Jordan or even Wesley Matthews and while they aren't spectacular they are solid.
As evidenced in the video above Henderson has good hops for a shooting guard. Anyone who has ever watched the Hornets more than twice a season saw coach Steve Clifford call this play time and time again. A recent hip procedure might limit him initially and again, it may not . We will just have to wait and see what, if any, ill effects that procedure may have on Henderson.
I like the aspect of his game as seen in the video below.
Posting up smaller players is commonplace in the NBA but Henderson doesn't seem to have a problem posting up bigger players. It will be interesting how Coach Stotts employs this skill into the Trail Blazers offense.
There is plenty to like about Henderson's game but three-point shooting isn't one of them. He is very effective from the left side corner three and average from the right side but struggles mightily everywhere else he attempts to shoot from behind the arc. If Henderson wants to see the floor he'll need to be able to make that three ball from various spots on the floor otherwise he'll spend the season watching C.J. McCollum take his minutes.
Henderson is generally known as a very good defender and he'll need to be if he wants to play alongside Damian Lillard. Henderson is also a very physical player and likes to play defense. Shooters shot just 42 percent against Henderson last season for just under an 11.0 PER. If that isn't enough to get you excited about what Henderson brings to the defensive side of things maybe this will.
Henderson is in the final year of his contract; there's big money on the horizon but in order to get that Henderson will have to prove to NBA Executives that he is worthy of a huge contract. Hopefully this will give Henderson some additional incentive to have a career-type season, otherwise he'll find himself on the short end of the stick and the Portland Trail Blazers will most likely find themselves in next season's Lottery Draft.
2015-2016 Fantasy Basketball Projection.
Henderson finished the 2014-2015 Fantasy Basketball season as the 25th ranked shooting guard and was owned in roughly 70 percent of Major Fantasy Basketball leagues. He started 72 games for the Hornets last season and now finds himself on a new team and a completely different situation then what he enjoyed in 2014-2015.
Fantasy Basketball owners despise platoon-type situations and that's what it appears to be in Portland this season with last season's backup shooting guard C.J. McCollum and the newly arrived Henderson, McCollum being the better overall offensive player while Henderson has the edge in defense.
How that battle plays out and who coach Terry Stotts decides to start is anyone's guess but that shouldn't affect Henderson's draft status very much. Henderson is a consistent, capable and experienced shooting guard and should easily average 25 minutes a night and if he produces on both ends of the floor then it isn't unreasonable to expect closer to 30 minutes a night.
Based on what we've seen from Henderson in the past he should be a mid-round or higher selection in smaller leagues of 10 teams or less and an absolute must in any format with more than 12 teams. If Henderson is sitting on your waiver wire prior to the start of the season then you should grab him and win your league.
On this weeks' Phil's Fantasy Sports Utah Jazz expert Amar joins me to discuss the Fantasy value of Trey Burke, Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert and Derek Favors, Draft Kings Playbook writer Jason Walker discusses Fantasy Football sleepers at the QB position, Fake Teams Fantasy Baseball writer Tim Finnegan and I offer tips and strategy to help you win at Daily Fantasy Baseball and Rotowire NHL expert Brian Rutherford and I offer tips to help you decide which goaltender to take in your upcoming Fantasy Hockey draft. You can download the program from my site or listen below.