Drafted in 2008 by the Golden State Warriors late in the second round after a pre-draft physical uncovered potential red flags in his knee, Richard Hendrix was unceremoniously dumped by Don Nelson when he found out that he shockingly is not a fit for his system in the least bit. Hendrix seemed to have made out just fine from the deal, pocketing a cool half a million dollars in guaranteed cash for under a month of service. He proceeded to join the D-League, where he looked somewhat disinterested at times, but still found a way to average nearly 15 rebounds per-40 minutes pace adjusted, good for second in the league. He then played extremely well in two separate summer leagues (Orlando and Vegas) as a member of the Magic and Nuggets rosters, but when no NBA team came calling with guaranteed cash, opted to sign in the Spanish ACB with CB Granada.
The move seems to be paying off quite well for Hendrix, as hes already established himself as one of the more productive big men in the leagueaveraging nearly 20 and 10 per-40 minutes pace adjusteddespite being a 23-year old rookie in the toughest domestic league in Europe. If anything, hes upped his value significantly in Europe by showing that he can translate his game over to a new style of play, and hes surely improved in his own right along the way.
What Hendrix brings to the table is quite obvious for those who have seen him or followed him throughout the years on this site. Hes a brute force underneath the basket with his terrific body, huge hands and 7-3 wingspan. Hes not a terribly skilled offensive player but is regardless fairly effective around the paint, particularly with his back to the basket. His main virtues lie in his rebounding ability, as he boxes out opponents extremely well and does an excellent job pursuing loose balls with his soft hands and long arms. He is yet to develop much of a face-up game and still a liability from the free throw line, two things he must address as his career moves on, but is a highly efficient player (leading the ACB in field goal percentage) who understands his limitations and comes off as quite an intelligent and fundamentally sound player.
Defensively, Hendrix is an undersized center who is effective guarding the post thanks to his strength, smarts and tenacity, but loses effectiveness the more he steps away from the basket. In todays NBA, though, where players like David Lee and Chuck Hayes are thriving at the center position that might not be as much of an issue as it was in years past, despite the fact that Hendrix cant be described as anything more than an average athlete at best.
As the Kurt Thomas and Reggie Evans of the world slowly get phased out in favor of younger big men, its only natural for teams to look in the direction of players like Hendrix to fill their void in their respective rotations. Considering the way hes produced at every stage of his career thus far, its not out of the question that he could surprise someone and develop into a valuable asset.