Unfortunately for Henry Ellenson, he saw a limited role in the Pistons’ lineup last season. However, with his stellar performance in the Orlando summer league, the Marquette big-man might get his chance at an extended role.
Ellenson had a very quiet and unexciting rookie season, averaging 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. To be fair, Ellenson averaged 7.7 minutes played and only participated in a meager 19 games for the 2016-17 season. Stan Van Gundy is known for his refusal to play rookies, so Ellenson’s lack of playing time is understandable.
But after his stellar performance in the summer league, Ellenson might’ve shown signs that he is capable of being a solid backup option at either the power forward or center slot.
Ellenson finished sixth at the summer league in points per game, averaging 17.4 points. Additionally, he also grabbed a seventh-best 7.2 rebounds per game, finishing behind fellow Piston Eric Moreland, who was the best in Orlando when it came to cleaning the glass.
Sadly, Ellenson had a subpar performance in the championship game, where the Pistons lost in overtime to the Mavericks. Nevertheless, it was thanks to Ellenson that the Pistons made it there in the first place.
Because of this performance, the young center must’ve made a strong impression on Stan Van Gundy. Ellenson’s 2018-19 option was picked up by the Detroit Pistons, and now that Ellenson is out of his rookie phase, SVG might have his promising 2016 draft pick see more minutes this season, serving behind Jon Leuer or Andre Drummond.
There is plenty to be optimistic about when it comes to Henry Ellenson, and his value could prove to be tremendous due to his ability to stretch the floor for the Pistons, who desperately need shooters this season.
Ellenson will still have his struggles this season, but with a larger role and more minutes, Pistons fans might begin to see flashes of what he may have in store for us this year.
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