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August 05, 2013

Charlotte Bobcats' Gerald Henderson talks contract, roster and his new head coach

1lQJSH.St.138Gerald Henderson is betting he’ll be a measurably better basketball player two year hence than he is right now.

Henderson signed a 3-year, $18 million contract to continue playing for the Charlotte Bobcats. He has the option to void the last season on that deal to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2015. He gave up about $1 million a season to get that option.

“I’ve improved every year and I believe I’ll continue to improve,’’ Henderson said. “I have that much confidence in myself.’’

Strange as this sounds for someone entering his fifth NBA season, Henderson is the longest-tenured Bobcat. That speaks to how much change this roster has experienced.  Two new acquisitions – free-agent center Al Jefferson and rookie power forward Cody Zeller – will likely start and a rookie head coach, Steve Clifford, has been hired.

Henderson is thrilled with the makeover.

“I always said getting a big man like Al Jefferson would be great. And then they got Al Jefferson,’’ Henderson said. “Cody Zeller is a guy who can instantly help us with his athleticism. He’s ready to play. Like any rookie, he’s going to have tons of room to grow, but he is ready to play.’’

Henderson has met with Clifford four times already. Henderson sees some parallels between Clifford and his college coach, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, in that Clifford seems to be a creative problem-solver.

“One of the first things he said to me is, ‘I can make you a great scorer by putting you in better positions all of the time. If there’s something you’re not particularly good at, I’m not going to put you in that in volume.’ ’’ Henderson said.

Henderson thinks Clifford will be particularly good for a player like second-year small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who needs to become more skilled.

“All he knows right now is to play hard. Having someone thinking for him is what he needs,’’ Henderson said. “It’s watching tape with him and showing him how to use his fake. In the whole realm of things it might be small, but these are the things you can’t come up with by yourself.’’

Henderson was a co-captain last season and he seems comfortable with leading; certainly more so than point guard Kemba Walker, who is uneasy with ordering around teammates. Henderson said he was part of the “problem’’ going 28-120 the past two seasons, so it was important to him to be part of the fix.

“I was part of it. You want to be part of the solution as well. That definitely weighed in,’’ Henderson said.

“The No. 1 thing I learned from Coach K is to be responsible for yourself. You can worry about how the team is doing. But if you’re not concerned about how your play is affecting the team, then you’re being selfish. How are you performing? In a non-selfish way you should always evaluate yourself.

“That’s his biggest thing. That’s about being a man. Get your work in. Do your part.’’

Posted by Observer Sports on August 5, 2013 at 12:55 PM | Permalink


Yes sir, as soon as Gerald Henderson discovers he will no longer be starting as a Charlotte Hornet, he will opt out of that contract in no time flat. Then, he will leave Charlotte and wind up as a vagabond, selling his services wherever someone will take him.
Gerald, you will never be a true NBA starting Shooting Guard, no matter how hard you try. You are an effort guy, so just accept what you are and be happy with it. You're like a David Wingate-type player. Find your niche, play as a backup until you are 33 and then retire to your millions.
It's a great life, dude. Be fortunate that Charlotte took you or you may already be out of the league by now.

Posted by: No More Seatcushions | Aug 5, 2013 2:33:09 PM

Nomoreseatcushions why are you so pessemstic ! Henderson has improved every year in the league and is very capable of averaging 16-18ppg as a starting shooting guard. And please tell me who is going to start over him ? Our 30-35 wins next year will be too high to get a top 3 pick in the draft. So think about what you are saying and enjoy eating your words in a few months.

Posted by: Elliot | Aug 5, 2013 2:42:45 PM

As a DUKE fan I was against GH leaving early and didn't think he would last long in the NBA...but I'm glad to see I was wrong and he has continued to improve his game. I put my bet on him as well..I think he'll be among the second tier of 2 guards in the league by the time his player option comes up in 2015

Posted by: Bobcats/Hornets Here | Aug 5, 2013 2:55:22 PM

Looking at where they are at as a team, this was a good move. Didn't over pay and he will be a good influence on a young team. Will never be an all-star caliber player, but they are not paying like one. They improved their roster this year and still have the flexibility to improve their roster again next year.

Posted by: BBall Expert | Aug 5, 2013 4:00:47 PM

Welcome back Hendo. Would love to see you play like you did toward the end of the season. Have to think you will get some better looks at the basket with Big Al and Cody here.

Posted by: Bobnet | Aug 5, 2013 5:40:41 PM

Henderson is a good player who plays hard and takes his job seriously.

With his on the court performance he earned a fair and reasonable contract.

Posted by: Clay | Aug 5, 2013 6:06:06 PM


Recent ESPN column asking fans to rank the top-15 shooting guards in the NBA, Hendo was not offered as a choice. In the comments fans pointed out a number of reasonably high profile omissions but Hendo wasn't one of them.

How does this team thrive with a player at a key position like shooting guard who ranks in the bottom third of the league?

Posted by: Ye Ol' Soothsayer | Aug 5, 2013 9:56:20 PM

For all those haters, All I have to say is this is a Business first and foremost. GH believes in him own abilities to improve and become elite an NBA player. Please don't knock the man for negotiating that deal. You may not agree but let the man gamble on himself. Who cares!

Now in retrospect we all know we will never be Elite. Until develops a game where he is nearly unstoppable off the dribble. GH will be nothing more than a wing guard/forward with a great mid-range game, solid defender and pro. Career Avg 15-17. Just like his game

Posted by: Cedric | Aug 6, 2013 4:15:05 AM

Lol. You would have to be an idiot not to see that a guy who finally got starters minutes and was healthy ,who scored 24 pts the last qrtr of the season is not close to being average . Only a handful of players did that . Only a few more scored over 19 a game after mid season . He played defense too . Three top teams are trying to trade for him now . I think their evaluation counts over the haters . Top 5 defender bc he can lock down . Top ten on offense . Watch games dummies . Idiots that don't push for crumbs like Mayo , Reek , Reddick and Thompson . This was w a pt gd that couldn't manage a piggy bank let alone run point . His replacement is coming soon . The Cats are pushing hard for Rondo , a pass first great decision maker .

Posted by: Iron man | Aug 6, 2013 9:03:50 AM

Love Henderson's attitude. Glad he will be back. Just having Thomas off the team will be a big help. Glad they pulled the trigger on that.

Posted by: Jimbo | Aug 6, 2013 11:27:01 AM

GH is already a Top 15-18 SG in the league...if he manages to improve his 3PT% to at least 38%, he will be a Top-10-12 SG in this league.

The guy is a solid defender, high character guy who can shoot mid-range jumpers, drive to the basket and make free throws. Ohh...and he is signed for only $6M a year. He is ten times better than Mayo, Ellis and Martin for a fraction of their price tag.

Posted by: RobC | Aug 6, 2013 2:16:59 PM

RobC, everything you just described, Taylor can do it better and he comes with a cheaper price tag. And to say he is ten times better then Mayo and Ellis is just pure homer talk.

I don't get all the fuss over Henderson. He only played like that towards the end of the year because nothing mattered anymore, he was in a contract year, and they signed McBob who started to facilitate things better.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Aug 6, 2013 4:19:27 PM

Henderson understands that, given the position's evolution, he must become a better three point shooter; his value to Charlotte, and the league, will ultimately depend on his ability to do so.

For the team's sake and Gerald's, I wish him the best of luck.

Posted by: Jeff | Aug 6, 2013 6:55:21 PM

Soothsayer, I would bet Henderson is not on that list because he Plays for the Bobcats. He could easily make the list if the team was winning and therefore more popular. From what I have seen, he plays better defense than half the guys on that list. Don't believe the hype!

Posted by: nucat | Aug 7, 2013 9:55:25 AM

"Three top teams are trying to trade for him now."


Posted by: Ye Ol' Soothsayer | Aug 7, 2013 11:45:52 AM

Im glade we got gh back..he is a solid player slightly less than average offensive game slighty better than average defensive game...but if charlotte ever becomes close to a contender gh would b comeing off the bench as a soilod 6th or 7th option..

Posted by: shane | Aug 7, 2013 12:11:42 PM

henderson is statistically more efficient than mayo or ellis.

just because those guys score more per game doesn't mean they are helping their team more when the increase in scoring comes with a major drop in efficiency.

and taylor HAS NOT PROVEN he can do what henderson does against nba talent. we ALL think he will get there, but he hasn't yet. he's balled in SUMMER LEAGUE. so did josh selby.

taylor hasn't cracked 20 points in an nba game yet. and he too was less efficient last year. he's younger. he's less experienced. but he's only a year and a half younger than henderson.

the argument should be that taylor/henderson/mkg have the 2-3 rotation SEWED UP. not that one of them needs to go anywhere.

we don't have any holes in our youth movement right now. walker/taylor/henderson/mkg/zeller/biz all 25 and under and legit nba starters. stir in next year's draft class and we're absolutely set. they just need to grow up.

anybody hating on henderson's game just doesn't know basketball. monta ellis shot UNDER 29% on 3's last year. not too bad for a career 31.8% shooter. and you want to knock henderson's 3 pt shooting?

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 7, 2013 4:15:58 PM

It sounds like Hendo is in the right frame of mind. Hard worker, smart, knows exactly what his strengths are and where he needs to improve. Smart contract negotiated where it works well for both sides. This season is gonna be fun.

Posted by: apauldds | Aug 7, 2013 4:23:24 PM

Must be a bummer for Bobcats players to always be the lowest paid. Monta Ellis is no good and can't hold a candle to Hendo but he makes over $2,000,000 per year more AND holds the player option in the 3rd year just like Hendo.

Posted by: Ye Ol' Soothsayer | Aug 7, 2013 4:24:59 PM

^^^^ he was unrestricted. and he's a couple years older/been in the league longer.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 7, 2013 8:00:18 PM

Good point. Basketball-Reference has an interesting feature, aggregate earnings.

According to them, Monta Ellis has earned almost $57 million in 8 years! Hendo has been paid $9.4 million in 4 years.

Posted by: Ye Ol' Soothsayer | Aug 8, 2013 6:37:03 AM

^^^ yeah....that's rookie scale for first rounder vs. 2nd rounder.

under the current scale....a guy like a jeff taylor stands to make more money than the guys drafted in front of him in the mid-late first round. for comps sakes........obviously it's more rare that a guy becomes a starter out of the 2nd round, but you take guys like ellis, wes matthews, chandler parsons, etc. as examples.......

the qualifying offer after the 3rd year is usually so low that there's no chance of the guy signing it. that takes a chunk of the leverage away from the team. not to mention the salaries are so low the first 3 years that it's hard for the teams to plan on the guy developing to the point where they need to set aside 5-10 million a year for him when it expires (assuming they even got a 3 year deal as many don't).

henderson's case is the exact example of the scale working to the team's advantage. he gradually increases his income for 4 years, has an increase again in the QO which isn't too far off from his actual value.

the 2nd round and undrafted gems completely eff up that system's fairness for those 1st round picks. sure they don't get the guaranteed money 1st rounders get, but they get to free agency faster and with less leverage from their teams which gives them higher salaries than they would get on rookie scale.

and ellis has been the epitome of overpaid. i get when good guys are on bad teams that their stats can come down a bit, but he hasn't necessarily been on all that bad of teams. I bet milwaukee wins the same amount of games this year if not more with mayo/knight that they did with jennings/ellis. and if ellis were all he's cracked up to be......that wouldn't be the case. he makes nobody around him better. he made ilyasova look like a scrub when the guy looked like a star the year before.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 8, 2013 9:44:31 AM

Of course Taylor hasn't cracked 20 a game. He was a rookie last year with Dunlap limiting his minutes. If given a chance and minutes like he had in SL, he can be better then Henderson. Taylor wants to stay in Charlotte. Henderson doesn't. He thinks he can earn more and play better elsewhere. Henderson just does not fit the long term plan of this team.

His fifth year in the NBA, no All Star appearances, no noise or hype in free agency. He is just a boring player with no fire. Perfect for coming off the bench.

No matter how much fans drink the Hendo kool aid, he won't be a Hornet for long.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Aug 8, 2013 10:17:07 AM

Do u really think if the bobcats make to the elite level they will do so as hendo as there starting 2 gaurd???? Im not saying its not possible im just thinking we may need a lil biger lil more talented 2 gaurd...we will have to wait on taylor to c if he's the right fit...

Posted by: shane | Aug 8, 2013 12:20:59 PM

is OKC not at an elite level? is indiana not? what about chicago? clippers? knicks? none of those teams had BETTER shooting guards.

D.W.G. the same argument can be made about how henderson sat behind jackson for 2 years. and if he's perfect for coming off the bench like you said.....why do you so badly want to get rid of him?! If taylor proves that he's superior, i'm positive he'll start. i HIGHLY doubt that happens this year. next year MAYBE. but there's no way you can sit here and say taylor is CLEARLY better when they are borderline the same player with slight advantages in certain areas but henderson has PROVEN certain things that taylor hasn't.

i like taylor a lot. i like henderson a lot. i say we keep them both and we can ABSOLUTELY contend with the 2 of them along with MKG playing 30 minutes a piece at the 2 and 3 positions. our roster as currently constructed.....is built to contend in 3 years. it's a matter of whether they are patient enough and well coached enough to grow into that.

but seriously....how can anyone hate henderson? 25 years old and one of the most efficient scorers from the 2 position. and a 2 way player. same exact thing I would say about taylor with the caveat that taylor is a bit younger/less experienced.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 8, 2013 3:25:57 PM

pargo just resigned......kinda ehh move unless they trade sessions. if sessions stays, would have rathered it been a young guy with upside than a vet filling a roster spot.

same could be said about tolliver if he signs. i like tolliver a lot, but we don't need mediocre vets right now. we need diamond in the rough guys. we need 22 year old tolliver.

pargo makes 12, adrien would make 13, tolliver would make 14..............sure hope they don't eff up the seth curry signing.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 8, 2013 4:55:16 PM

Every team u named except Chicago has a star or a super star on there team we dont have that when we get that gh well b perfect as a good roll player...and I didnt wanna get rid of him I like him as a two way player and he has a veteran mentality which we really need...

Posted by: shane | Aug 8, 2013 5:22:31 PM

so you get rid of everyone that isn't a star unless you already have a star? it doesn't make sense to hate the most talented player on the team JUST BECAUSE he isn't an elite talent. that would only make sense if he were an overpaid guy like a brook lopez or roy hibbert or joe johnson or eric gordon or something. hendo doesn't fall into that overpaid category by a long shot.

the 5 or 6 guys we have right now to build on......can easily be indiana or memphis or okc or denver in a few years. maybe better. but we have a bunch of 20 year olds. you gotta let biz and zeller and mkg grow up before you know if they're stars or not. how many 20 year old impact players are there? the vast majority of the guys playing in june are pushing 30 or past that.

the hate for henderson is baffling. his dad won how many rings? 2 or 3 or something as a starter and by ALL ACCOUNTS jr. is better than sr.

what is NOT to love about the guy? like I said, he, taylor, and mkg could be a 3 man rotation on an elite team.

zeller + biz + 5 years = randolph/gasol or chandler/dirk or ewing/oakley.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 8, 2013 7:06:30 PM

I never said get rid of anyone ...where did I say get rid of someone at..

Posted by: shane | Aug 8, 2013 7:15:08 PM

I agree that the team need more experience and that mkg and hendo and taylor could be a nice core for the next several years..all I wanted no if he hendo could play starting shooting gaurd ..say 2 maybe 3 years from now if then hornets where top 2 or 3 in the east...and I know he is a good talent but he isent the most talented on the team..walker is...and if where talking pure talent its mkg...who is still 19..lets c how good he is when he is 25

Posted by: shane | Aug 8, 2013 7:34:00 PM

henderson is better suited physically than walker though.

and yes, he could start for a top 5 team in the league (top 2-3 for either conference). thabo sefalosha, shumpert, avery bradley, courtney lee, lance stephenson, all started for contenders in recent years. he's as good as all those guys, better than some of them.

willie green started 60 games for the clippers last year.

you guys act like this is the 90's. it's not. guys who used to be shooting guards are point guards now. the league isn't filled with jordan, drexler, miller, smith, richmond, rice, iverson, allen, eddie jones, kobe, allan houston, joe dumars, latrell spreewell, john starks, jeff hornacek, dan majerle, isaih rider, kendall gill, jimmy jackson, hersey hawkins, etc. etc. etc. etc.

i don't think a single guy i just named didn't have a season where he averaged 20 a game on good shooting %'s. jimmy jackson is all the way down at the bottom and i know he had a 50 point game once or twice and i think he averaged something like 25 or 26 one year.

it's not the same. shooting guard is not a stacked position right now, neither is center. point guard and 3-4 guys like lebron, durant, dirk, melo, etc. that's the stacked position. walker would be a top 5 point guard in the 90's. he's MAYBE top 20 right now.

guys like rose, westbrook, evans, holiday, knight, etc. would have never played the 1 in the 90's.

henderson is a guy you keep around, he will NOT be the go-to guy once the other guys grow up, or maybe not even this year. but he's a GREAT 3rd or 4th option. and paid accordingly. there's no reason why anybody should hate on the guy. or really any of our young core. all of them play hard, are skilled in their own areas, and mesh well together. just need time to grow into their prime.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 9, 2013 12:30:21 PM

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