The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired center John Henson in December by way of the George Hill-to-Milwaukee trade. But Henson was traded for while understanding he had a wrist injury. So where does he fit on this roster?
The Cleveland Cavaliers seem to be in a tricky spot with their bigs situation yet again. With recently-acquired John Henson still not taking part in any game action and the NBA Trade Deadline rapidly approaching, one has to wonder what exactly the plans for Henson are in the minds of the Wine and Gold’s front office?
Henson, a seventh-year pro out of North Carolina, had spent all of his career with the Milwaukee Bucks prior to him being traded to the Cavaliers on December 7th, 2018, as was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst.
Not known for a scoring knack or rebounding ability, really (with 5.4 career rebounds per game, per NBA.com) Henson came to Cleveland as more of a potential-filled big man that had yet to tap into that potential. At age 28, the time is ticking on Henson’s chance to make the most of his opportunities.
He’d have a huge opportunity to do so in Cleveland if he wasn’t injured with a wrist injury at the moment. But alas, that is the case for Henson.
So what should the Cavaliers do with Henson going forward?
The first option would be to figure out how he would be incorporated into the fold with the current bigs? When Larry Nance Jr. and Kevin Love return, it’ll be those two, Henson, Tristan Thompson, Channing Frye, and Ante Zizic.
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That’s a count of six players, which is obviously not going to work with the Cavs’, or any team’s, rotation. Figuring out who Henson could replace is interesting and will be tough to decide, especially because the roster could look much different after February 7th.
And I believe Henson should be one of the players moved at the trade deadline, which is the second option available for the Cavaliers.
With Western Conference contenders such as the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder serving as just a few teams that need reinforcement at the center position, it makes sense to part ways with Henson.
The demand for Henson won’t be through the roof, but he could land the Cavaliers a younger player and a second-rounder in return.
The reason Henson should be the most obvious choice when it comes to being traded amongst the bigs is simple: He hasn’t played for the Wine and Gold yet. There isn’t an emotional connection Henson’s built on the court between his teammates or the coaching staff. And with him playing zero games for Cleveland, they don’t have to wonder about what they’re losing when dealing him.
Sure, Henson playing in a few games before the beginning of February would be ideal and could help his trade stock. But if the progress he’s making is close enough for a return to the floor, Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman‘s phone might be getting some rings as we reach the trade deadline.