Realistic Expectations for Detroit Pistons Rookie Henry Ellenson in 2016-17

July 12th, 2016 by Jonathan Wasserman Leave a reply »

Henry Ellenson had a lot going for him heading into the 2016 NBA draft.

He's productive, consistent, blatantly skilled and still 19 years old. He also identifies as one of the league's most coveted types: a stretch big man. Alarms wouldn't have sounded had someone taken Ellenson in the top 10.

"He was a guy we had as basically no chance to get to No. 18, so we didn't bring him in for a workout," coach Stan Van Gundy said, per the Detroit News' Rod Beard. "We loved him and everything (all our scouts) had seen. He was a guy we didn't think we had a shot at."

His slide into the late teens can only be traced to one obvious flaw: Ellenson lacks quickness and explosiveness. According to Seth Davis of Campus Rush, one scout referred to him as a "woeful athlete."

Ellenson is mobile, just not fast or bouncy, which raises questions concerning his potential to execute against NBA-caliber bigs. On the other hand, one could argue he's the most polished scorer among 4s or 5s in the draft class. Only once did he fail to reach double figures in points his freshman year. He went for 20 points 10 times.

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