The Charlotte Bobcats were able to sign one of the biggest names in NBA Free Agency earlier in the summer when they landed Al Jefferson. Though there are mixed feelings about Jefferson and how he will impact the Bobcats, it’s a rarity to see a high-profile player sign with Charlotte. However, it’s another free-agent, Gerald Henderson, who is on the Bobcats’ mind these days.
Early in the off-season the Bobcats offered a qualifying offer to Henderson, making him a restricted free-agent. However, after searching the market for a deal that would give him more money, Henderson is still unsigned. Even after returning to talks with the Bobcats about a possible sign-and-trade, no deal has been reached.
The predominant belief is that Henderson is simply looking for too much money in his new deal. The former 12th overall pick averaged 15.5 points, 3.7 boards, 2.6 assists and one steal per game in 31.4 minutes per game. He also showed improvement in his shooting, converting on 44.7 percent of his field goal attempts and 33 percent of his attempts from long-range.
Henderson isn’t a great outside shooter and gets most of his points from attacking the rim, even though he’s still not elite in that regard. The majority of Henderson’s value is derived on the defensive end of the floor, where he’s shown he’s quite talented, particularly in one-on-one situations where he’s guarding the ball-handler.
It’s pretty clear that the Bobcats aren’t looking to sign Henderson to a long-term deal at this point, especially if it’s at the price that Henderson is apparently asking for. The most likely option at this point is that Henderson will be with Charlotte next season with the team playing him the $4.26 million from his qualifying offer and then he will become an unrestricted free-agent next summer.
If he shows even more improvement next season, perhaps he will get the dollar amount that he was looking for this off-season. If he submits a similar season to last year, though, Henderson is probably going to have to lower his expectations for his next contract.