clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2012 NBA Draft: Q&A Outtakes On John Henson, Kris Joseph, Fab Melo & Tyler Zeller

The Golden State Warriors drafted Harrison Barnes (left) with the seventh pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, but how might John Henson have fit in with the team? <em> (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)</em>
The Golden State Warriors drafted Harrison Barnes (left) with the seventh pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, but how might John Henson have fit in with the team? (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Getty Images

As mentioned the other day about the Golden State Warriors' decision to pass on UConn center Andre Drummond, every year there's a prospect our favorite team passes on that triggers what if questions.

What if the Warriors had taken John Henson to pair him with Andrew Bogut?

What if they had traded down to draft Tyler Zeller, who Jerry West apparently liked (and in Jerry We Trust)?

What if Fab Melo had fallen to #30 along with Festus Ezeli?

What if Kris Joseph had been around at #52?

Well...maybe nobody was exactly pining for anyone at #52..but you get the point.

In any event, in the course of conducting these Q&As with other sites, I chose not to post some of their answers about prospects who didn't end up on the Warriors' draft radar. But since you all have enjoyed their insights thus far, I'm posting those now for your reading pleasure.

John Henson, F, North Carolina: #14. Milwaukee Bucks

(Click here for the full Q&A with T.H. of SBN's Carolina March)

GSoM: John Henson is a guy that has a number of us intrigued due to his defensive ability. But his offensive game is where the questions might arise. Before asking our questions, how would you describe Henson's offensive game?

T.H.: Henson came to UNC wanting to play the three spot — and the team suffered a bit his freshman year as Roy Williams played him there — and his offensive game has always drifted further out from the paint than you'd expect from a 6'11" college power forward. Although he is a lot stronger than he was when he arrived at Carolina, his offense was never solely of the post-up variety. He's developed a nice jump hook, though, and I'm really curious to see how it does when he doesn't have such a distinct height advantage.

GSoM: One thing we've discussed is that Henson's shooting efficiency is terribly low for someone who gets the majority of his scoring opportunities right around the basket. Although he's generally considered to have a high basketball IQ, there was a brief discussion on the site about whether he has the sense of spacing, timing, and how to play in the pick & roll that would be necessary to get himself in position to score in the pros; others might say that his lack of scoring opportunities was simply a matter of how North Carolina played offense, which involved people taking the first open shot they got. Where might you stand on the question of Henson's ability to find scoring opportunities?

T.H.: Some of that efficiency is offense-related; with Zeller around he spent less time posting up in the paint, and the speed of the offense does factor a little bit. You also have to keep in mind how one-dimensional UNC could be at times without a strong perimeter game, allowing good teams to collapse three or four defenders into the paint.

The pick and roll specifically, I don't know how well he can perform. After watching these guys run at breakneck speeds for so long it gets a little difficult to imagine them in other styles of play.

GSoM: What is the thing that you most would've hoped for Henson to improve had he stayed at UNC?

T.H.: I'd have liked him to be a little stronger, but he did improve a lot in that regard in three years.

Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina: #17. Dallas Mavericks (traded to Cleveland Cavaliers)

(Click here for the full Q&A with T.H. of SBN's Carolina March)

GSoM: Zeller is an intriguing prospect, perhaps especially for the Warriors because they've typically been an uptempo team. The knock on Zeller is that he's got limited upside compared to prospects like Meyers Leonard or Andre Drummond. But what improvement have you seen from him over the course of his career that might bode well for his development into a solid pro?

T.H. I look at Tyler Hansbrough and his success in the NBA and I see a lot of potential for Zeller. Zeller is faster, although not as strong as the previous Tyler, and his improvement over four years has been dramatic. I'm not sure many Carolina fans were expecting him to be this good after four years in Chapel Hill. He's definitely much
stronger with a much more well-rounded game than he was even as a junior.

Fab Melo, C, Syracuse: #22. Boston Celtics

(Click here for the full Q&A with Sean Keeley of SBN's Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.)

GSoM: I noticed on your site that you said Syracuse fans will be "secretly (or not-so-secretly) hoping that Fab flails" and you just shared your opinion on Scoop. But the Warriors have four picks in this draft and DraftExpress has Kris Joseph being selected in the range of one of the Warriors' second rounders. Any thoughts on Joseph (or elaboration on Melo)?

Sean Keeley: As for Fab Melo, I wrote a piece after the season about how Melo is the ultimate example of shifting expectations in a player. Syracuse fans loved and loathed him at least seven different times. The way his career ended, missing the NCAA Tournament and possibly costing us our best chance at a Final Four since 2003 because he couldn't do the minimum requirements required of him in the classroom, is always going to leave a bad taste in Orange fan's mouths.

That said, what works for Fab is the fact that he's still learning how good of a basketball player he is (he's only been playing for a few years) and his growth in confidence from freshman to sophomore season was immense. He's a bit of a space cadet but he's one of those upside guys that the NBA draft is all about.

Kris Joseph, F, Syracuse: #51. Boston Celtics

(Click here for the full Q&A with Sean Keeley of SBN's Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.)

GSoM: Any thoughts on Joseph?

SK: Kris Joseph is a tough call. If you point a gun at a Syracuse fan's head, they'll almost certainly tell you they don't expect KrisJo to have much of an NBA career. He's the latest in a long line of forwards like Josh Pace, Damone Brown and Todd Burgan who had solid college careers but never quite made that leap to the next level in their game. Fairly or unfairly, Joseph never quite met the expectations that were laid out for him, though I think he was a more well-rounded player than people give him credit for.

My guess is that he's the kind of guy who bounces around the NBA for 2-3 years before heading to Europe. I hope I'm wrong because he's one of the nicest, classiest guys we've had the pleasure of rooting for.

For more on the Golden State Warriors draft, check out SBN Bay Area's storystream. To follow along with analysis and reaction to the entire NBA draft at SB Nation's main story stream or SBN Studios' 2012 NBA Draft features.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Golden State of Mind Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Golden State Warriors news from Golden State of Mind