Charlotte Hornets

Hornets’ Gerald Henderson still struggles with outside shot

Gerald Henderson

Positions: Shooting guard and small forward

Contract status: Henderson can exercise a $6 million player option to stay with the Hornets next season. Otherwise he’d become an unrestricted free agent in July.

Seasons in the NBA: Six

Telling statistic: One of Henderson’s strengths is his mid-post, back-to-the-basket game. But he made just 34.5 percent of his shots this season 3-10 feet from the basket.

Season review: The book on Henderson has always been that he needs to improve his 3-point range to become a complete NBA shooting guard. Henderson took more 3s this season (136) than in any of his previous five seasons, but his percentage (33.1 percent) didn’t improve.

Henderson started the season as a reserve, playing behind Lance Stephenson. He returned to the starting lineup when Stephenson was injured and never gave up the spot. Henderson is a tri-captain on this team and widely respected by his teammates. Clifford praised him for playing through hip and quadriceps injuries late in the season after the Hornet were eliminated from the playoff race.

Henderson’s $6 million player option for next season is an interesting decision. Will he forfeit that sure thing to pursue a long-term deal in unrestricted free-agency in July? And would the Hornets pursue him if he does void the final season on his current deal?

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