It took a blowout loss to the Boston Celtics on Saturday for Henry Ellenson to make his season debut. Now, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, it looks like this will be the third-year forward’s final season with the Detroit Pistons.
Detroit Pistons will decline the fourth-year option of forward Henry Ellenson, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. The No. 18th pick in the 2016 Draft will become an unrestricted free agent in July.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) October 30, 2018
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Ellenson, the 18th overall pick int he 2016 NBA Draft, never carved out a role with the Pistons. It didn’t help that the team signed Jon Leuer to a big contract after drafting the big man out of Marquette, but the 21-year-old’s issues weren’t all about a lack of opportunity.
He just hasn’t been good and, needing to make a decision on his fourth-year option by Halloween, the Pistons’ new regime opted to go another direction.
Ellenson has good size at 6-foot-10, but never showcased the shooting potential that many thought he would bring to the table — though he’s never been shy about hoisting jumpers.
He averaged 9.7 rebounds per game in college, but that hasn’t translated to the NBA.
And his limitations defensively, though expected, never improved. Not even enough for the man who drafted him (Stan Van Gundy) to give him any sort of extended look during a time when the basketball, well, mattered.
With new head coach Dwane Casey’s desire to play smaller with his reserves, there just hasn’t been room for Ellenson — let alone Leuer, a better version — to make an impact.