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Counting down the Milwaukee Bucks' most valuable assets: Henswan Song (Blame Eric)


Kevin C. Cox

We're counting down the Milwaukee Bucksmost valuable assets one by one to get a clear picture of how Bucks fans view---


Henson had terrific per-minute stats as a rookie, which made everybody think that he would also be really good in his sophomore season. And he sort of was--he had the third-highest PER of any rotation player on the roster thanks to reasonably efficient scoring and strong rebounding. While he's a bit old for a second-year player (he turns 24 in December), Henson's production screams things like "underutilized" and "breakout candidate."

So why is everybody so unsure about him?

Lots of reasons, actually, though some are easier to justify than others. For starters, Henson is a fairly limited player. He can't shoot with much of any range and can't really facilitate offense (though he improved in that regard last season). His go-to move is a hook shot that, while fairly reliable (and basically unblockable), isn't something to build an offense around. And for all the impressive numbers in Henson's basic statistical résumé, advanced metrics have typically painted an unflattering picture of his contributions on the court. Maybe the most irksome thing for fans is the perception that Henson just doesn't care enough. Enough to push himself to improve, enough to take a leadership role on a rudderless team, enough to be bothered much at all by constant losing. There's a lot of hearsay that goes into those types of complaints, and armchair psychiatry of professional athletes is rarely successful, but it is what it is.

Still, there are also plenty of reasons for Henson to be this high on our list too. Henson's sub-par defensive performance to date is surprising for a player with so much obvious potential on that end. He's got two more cheap seasons on his contract, giving the Bucks plenty of time to evaluate him as a core piece or trade chip before making any long-term commitments. And sometimes that hook shot is just so pretty. Henson is another one of those guys that's simply hard to pin down, and his third season will likely go a long way in determining his future, be it in Milwaukee or elsewhere.

In the end "potential," so often a treasured quality where the Bucks are concerned, might have worked against Henson in this poll. The next closest choice was Larry Sanders, who continues to skirt by despite a disastrous 2013-2014 season. But Sanders at least has one season of elite-level defensive performance to back him up. That, plus maybe a little bit of the fiery-underdog persona that some people like, likely pushed him over the top in comparison to the yet-uncertain Henson.

Milwaukee Bucks Roster Asset Rankings

18. O.J. Mayo
17. Chris Wright
16. Zaza Pachulia
15. Jerryd Bayless
14. Johnny O`Bryant III
13. Ersan Ilyasova
12. Nate Wolters
11. Jared Dudley
10. Clippers' 2017 first-round pick
9. Kendall Marshall
8. Damien Inglis
7. Khris Middleton
6. John Henson