Swingman Gerald Henderson is keen to see the Charlotte Bobcats progress after signing a new three-year, $18million contract with the beleaguered North Carolina franchise.
25-year-old Henderson, who was selected 12th overall by the Bobcats in the 2009 NBA draft, became a restricted free agent this summer after the team extended him a qualifying offer but has now opted to remain in Charlotte for the foreseeable future.
In re-signing with the Bobcats, who are owned by basketball icon Michael Jordan, Henderson will remain part of a team who have become somewhat of a laughing stock in recent times.
After arriving in the NBA as an expansion team in 2004, the Bobcats endured a difficult period early on and posted records of 18-64 and 26-56 during their first two seasons.
They did begin to show signs of unquestionable improvement, however, culminating in an appearance in the 2009-10 postseason, where they were were comfortably beaten 4-0 by the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference first round.
Following their brief playoff adventure, such positive progress quickly ground to a miserable halt and in 2011-12 the team posted an appalling 7-59 before going 21-61 during the last campaign.
However, despite their recent difficulties, optimistic Henderson, who averaged 15.5 points per game last season, has insisted the Bobcats are capable of reaching the next level.
"You go through anything tough and it's easy to give up and say you want to move on or whatnot," the Duke product said in a press conference on Monday.
"As bad as it got, and I was part of the problem, it was kind of one of those things where you look at as it can only get better. With the pieces we've added we can find our way out of it."
Those additions include center Al Jefferson, who arrived at Time Warner Cable Arena this summer after leaving the Utah Jazz as an unrestricted free agent. As a dominant low-post scorer, Jefferson will prove the focal point for the Bobcats stuttering offense.
In addition to Jefferson, the Charlotte have also chosen to sign first-round draft pick Cody Zeller. 20-year-old big man Zeller, whose brothers Tyler and Luke both play in the NBA, will join a talented core of youngsters spearheaded by point guard Kemba Walker and small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
"I think with more attention on guys dow low it frees up the perimeter a bunch," added Henderson. "Any team with a good big man, you will see the guards get more freedom and have more open shots.
"With Al, teams are going to have to double team him so you have more chances for open shots."
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