Gerald Henderson Sticks Around for $6 Million

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Gerald Henderson opted into the last year of his contract with the Charlotte Hornets two days ago. The former Duke guard has been a fixture on the Hornets since he was drafted and he will make $6 million this season. What that means for the Hornets remains to be seen.

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Henderson was one of the team’s healthiest players last year. In a season where some predicted that he would be supplanted by Lance Stephenson, Henderson remained the starter at shooting guard for most of the year. He averaged twelve points per game in that role.

The good thing about Henderson is his ability to get to the basket with his quick first step. He also has shot around 34% from the three point line for the last three years. As his career continues, his shooting will most likely improve as that becomes his primary means of scoring.

However 34% is the break-even point for an outside shooter. The Hornets were so bad last year at three pointers that Henderson had the best mark on the team outside of anyone named Williams. Ideally the Hornets would want someone who shoots closer to 40% at that spot. This is especially true since Michael Kidd-Gilchrist mans the small forward position and is not going to give you 33% at this point.

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Henderson’s 6 million salary sits as the third biggest on the team for next year. This means Henderson could be used as a trade piece in a deal to bring someone else on board. The Hornets are unlikely to make a big free agent signing, so trades might be the only way to go to improve the team. Marvin Williams and the recently acquired Matt Barnes also have expiring deals (technically so does Al Jefferson) that might find themselves in a trade either separately or packaged with Henderson.

Ideally Henderson would become the team’s energetic sixth man. That would make the most of his production without killing spacing for too many minutes. No man has risen to beat him out yet.

Next: Spencer Hawes and Dominoes