Detroit Pistons: Why local star Aaron Henry should be on Detroit’s radar

Aaron Henry would be a nice fit on the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Aaron Henry would be a nice fit on the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

Michigan State wing Aaron Henry is a hot commodity for the 2021 NBA Draft. How would he fit with the Detroit Pistons?

The Detroit Pistons are 1-7 right now and are likely going to have a high pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Michigan State wing Aaron Henry has been a prospect on the rise and he could end up in a Piston’s jersey next season. The junior is off to a good start in the Big Ten this season and will likely declare for the draft this year after testing the waters in 2020.

Who is Aaron Henry?

With an NBA-ready body, Henry stands at 6-foot-6, 210-pounds, and has a fairly long wingspan that complements his game on the defensive end of the floor. So far this season for the Spartan’s Henry is averaging 14 points on 44 percent from the field, 5.5 boards, 3.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.5 blocks.

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In an expanded offensive role this season, shooting the three-ball has been quite inefficient for Henry. He is shooting 28 percent from behind the arc this year, but in the last three games, he is 6-for-10. During the course of Henry’s career, he is a 34 percent shooter from three so it is likely he will shake off the early struggles.

The thing that attracts NBA franchises the most about Henry is his ferocious on-ball defense and the potential he has as a three-and-D player. A versatile wing that plays at a high level on both ends of the floor is something that is a hot commodity in today’s NBA. Just take a look at this clip and see what Henry can do on defense.

Detroit Pistons: Aaron Henry could be a versatile  3-and-D wing

There isn’t anything in Henry’s game that he cannot do. He can score at the rim and will step out to shoot the ball beyond the arc. Rebounding and playing defense is something Henry is no stranger to. Playing in a Tom Izzo offense, Henry will make passes to the open man. He has a strong basketball IQ that has a good feel for the game.

The biggest knock on Henry’s game is his he doesn’t do anything at an elite level. He is a well-rounded prospect who is a good defender, but he isn’t on Matisse Thybulle’s level of on-ball defense. Henry is a solid athlete and a good scorer, but he will not be a go-to guy in the league. And that’s okay. The Pistons could use a player like Henry and here’s why.

How Henry fits with Detroit Pistons

So far the Detroit Pistons are 26th in the NBA in defensive efficiency. Plus, they are 24th in the league in points against from three. It’s clear they need another player to defend along the perimeter. With Josh Jackson emerging as a breakout player on offense, Blake Griffin back next season and Jeremi Grant stepping up, Henry’s offense isn’t needed right away. It’s a bonus.

Right now the Pistons’ 2021 pick belongs to Houston but it does have a lottery protection on it, so there is a very good chance Detroit gets that pick back. As of now, Henry is viewed as a late first-rounder or early second. Even though Detroit right now doesn’t have a pick that will be in that range, it’s not a secret that Troy weaver is willing to flip contracts on draft day for draft picks. Plus, Derrick Rose‘s contract is off the books after the season, so he could be traded this year.

The Pistons could really use someone to hold down the perimeter on the second unit when Grant and Bey are off the floor. Henry will be able to do that at a very cheap rate. Weaver won’t have to overpay someone in free agency and late first and early second rounders are easily traded for.  Henry gives the luxury of a two-way player at a low expense.

With the NBA becoming an offensive league getting as many two-way players as possible is key. Henry’s combination of size, basketball IQ and overall game is something that should be on the Piston’s radar come this summer.

The Pistons are appearing to soon be in a full-on rebuild and acquiring as much young talent as possible is key. Dwayne Casey and Troy Weaver have already started this past offseason trimming the fat off the roster. A new era of Detroit basketball is on the way and local standout Aaron Henry should be apart of it.

Next. Day after observations from loss to Bucks. dark