Bobcats take Duke's Henderson with 12th pick in the first round

** FOR USE AS DESIRED WITH NBA DRAFT STORIES ** FILE - In this March 21, 2009, file photo, Duke's Gerald Henderson (15) drives past Texas' Dexter Pittman (34) during a second-round men's NCAA college basketball tournament game in Greensboro, N.C. Henderson is a top prospect in the upcoming NBA Draft. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

CHARLOTTE -- North Carolina's most famous basketball star turned to archrival Duke in hopes of giving the Charlotte Bobcats the boost they need to reach the playoffs for the first time. The Michael Jordan-led Bobcats selected shooting guard Gerald Henderson with the 12th pick in Thursday's draft, putting aside that fierce college rivalry to give Charlotte an athletic, defensive specialist. "Sometimes it's hard to put those feelings away. It's something about our blood that makes it very hard to choose a Duke player," Jordan said, smiling. "But this is a business. ... The thing that we saw in Henderson was he's a very capable player who provides us with a lot of different opportunities." In Charlotte's second draft teaming Jordan, and coach Larry Brown - a fellow North Carolina alum - the Bobcats filled a glaring need. Henderson, who averaged 16.5 points a game as a junior last season, will start as Raja Bell's backup. Bell, who turns 33 before the start of next season, was plagued by injuries in the second half of last season and the Bobcats had no clear alternative after numerous in-season trades. "He was injured quite a bit for us last year down the stretch. I think that really prohibited us from making that strong push for the playoffs," Jordan said of Bell. "We felt like if we could secure that a little bit it would put us in a better position to try to finish off the season." The Bobcats went into the night weighing several options, including moving down in the draft. Charlotte had targeted Henderson and fellow shooting guard Terrence Williams of Louisville, bringing in each player for two pre-draft workouts. Williams went to New Jersey with the 11th pick, clearing the way for Henderson. Jordan said if both players were gone, they would have entertained offers to give up the pick. "We probably would have traded down," Jordan said. The son of former NBA player Gerald Henderson Sr., the former Duke star has been criticized for making just 33 percent of his 3-point shots at Duke. But Henderson provides the defensive intensity Brown craves. "I think it'll be a good situation for Gerald to learn from Raja and not have pressure on him right away," Brown said. "I think he has a big upside. He's really athletic and kids that are athletes that have a good ethic and want to get better have a real good chance. "We had trouble when the ball got on the floor and loose balls like that. I think with his athleticism, he can do that." For Jordan, he can only hope Henderson distances himself from previous draft gaffes. The basketball icon's reputation as an executive was sullied by his decision to take Kwame Brown No. 1 overall when he ran the Washington Wizards and selecting Adam Morrison No. 3 overall in his first draft in Charlotte in 2006. Morrison was traded last season, one of three major trades the Bobcats made to shape the roster to Brown's liking. The Bobcats won 35 games last season under the Hall of Fame coach, but failed to reach the playoffs for the first time in the franchise's five-year history. Charlotte also needed help at power forward. The position became even thinner earlier this week when the team decided not to extend a qualifying offer to impending free agent Sean May. The Bobcats also held two second-round picks, 40th and 54th overall.