Every Sixers fan, including myself, is in full Playoff mode. The team is two wins away from reaching the Eastern Conference Finals, and with the Heat banged up, the chances either Boston or Philadelphia making the NBA Finals have increased ever so slightly.
But a rare second consecutive off-day between games has me thinking about my favorite part of covering the NBA – the draft.
WalterFootball.com, known for their NFL mock drafts – naturally – has recently published an updated version of their 2012 NBA Mock Draft. With the 15th overall pick, they have the Philadelphia 76ers selecting John Henson, from North Carolina.
Henson falling to the Sixers, and them obliging, would be an absolute dream come true for me. I've been on the John Henson bandwagon for a while now – he was my number one prospect for the Sixers to target last season, before he decided to forgo the draft.
The junior from North Carolina is one of the top big men prospects in this year's draft. Despite his fragile frame, he has the potential to become at least an average post defender, and when you pair that with his already above average rebounding, elite weak side shot-blocking and good pick and roll defense, Henson could make one of the best defensive teams in the NBA – the Sixers – an absolute terror for opposing teams.
Outside of Evan Turner, the Sixers don't really have an elite rebounder on the roster. Henson should be well above average from day one. And the Sixers certainly don't have a shot-blocker – Henson was one of the NCAA's best during his North Carolina tenure.
Offensively, Henson isn't going to give you much outside of the occasional alley-oop, putback, or finish off of a pick and roll – but his skillset complements the Sixers beautifully. Jrue, Evan, Iguodala and Lou – if he's back – desperately need a big to run the pick and roll with and/or throw lobs to around the rim. Henson would thrive with the plethora of ball handlers, and the ball handlers would benefit greatly, playing with someone of Henson's skill-set.
If you're looking for a player comp., Henson's in the mold of guys like JaVale McGee, Brandan Wright and a younger Samuel Dalembert.
Draft Express has him as their 8th ranked prospect and Chad Ford has him 13th.
Whether or not Henson is there, it's becoming very clear that the Sixers will have some very intriguing prospects to choose from at 15. There will be a talented player or two who fall. There will be the high-floor, low-ceiling guys – like Nik Vucevic. There will be supremely talented players with red flags. However it shakes out, the Sixers will have a great chance to improve their franchise at 15. There may be a lack of elite talent, outside of Anthony Davis, this year, but the middle-to-last first round seems unusually loaded.
Among the players who could be there at 15: Perry Jones III, Terrence Jones, John Henson, Dion Waiters, Arnett Moultrie, Terrence Ross, Kendall Marshall, Meyers Leonard, Quincy Miller, Tony Wroten Jr., Royce White and Andrew Nicholson.