Henry Ellenson

Central Rumors: Tolliver, Griffin, J.R. Smith, Markkanen

Power forward Anthony Tolliver would like to stay put but his future with the Pistons is uncertain at best, Ansar Khan of MLive.com reports. Tolliver, 32, quickly emerged as a rotation player in his second stint with the franchise and posted career highs in field-goal percentage (46.4) and 3-point percentage (43.6), Khan notes. But Tolliver becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer and the Pistons still have Jon Leuer, who missed most of the season with an ankle injury, and Henry Ellenson at that spot behind Blake Griffin“I’ve been here longer than anywhere else in my career and would love to keep that going,” Tolliver told Khan and other beat writers. “But at the end of the day, got to see what’s up this summer.”

In other news around the Central Division:

  • Griffin told his Pistons teammates during their postseason meeting that he wants to be the leader of the team, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com relays. Griffin arrived in a late January trade with the Clippers and feels he needs to take more responsibility. “It’s a role that he should and does embrace,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “It’s not he and Chris Paul. Clearly, he’s the most accomplished guy on our team to this point. Five-time All-Star. Guys look up to him, so people are going to be looking at him and I think he wants that.”
  • Former starters J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson are candidates to return to the starting five for Game 2 against the Pacers, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue confirmed to Joe Vardon of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and other media members. Smith scored 15 points off the bench in Game 1, while Thompson made just a cameo appearance. “We’ve been talking about it as a staff,” Lue said. “I just know those guys have been through everything with us the last four years and we won a championship, went to three finals. Tristan and J.R. played a big part of that. We understand that and trust me, we know that.”
  • Bulls rookie forward Lauri Markkanen will play for the Finnish National Team in the FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers scheduled for the end of June, Sportando reports. He averaged 15.2 PPG and 7.5 RPG in 29.7 MPG during his first NBA season.

Pistons Notes: Griffin, Ellenson, Jackson, Smith

The Pistons’ faint playoff hopes were officially snuffed out on Wednesday night, when Detroit’s loss to Philadelphia eliminated the club from postseason contention. While the Pistons don’t have a ton to play for in the season’s final four games, injured star Blake Griffin continues to push for a return from his ankle injury and Stan Van Gundy hasn’t ruled out that possibility, as Keith Langlois of Pistons.com details. Still, Detroit’s head coach doesn’t sound desperate to get Griffin back on the court.

“I don’t know if that’s going to come or not,” Van Gundy said. “We’ve only got six days left. Four games in six days. Whether we see him again, I have no idea. But it’s certainly no better than 50-50.”

With Griffin still on the shelf for now, expect to see plenty of Henry Ellenson down the stretch for the Pistons, writes Langlois.

Here’s more out of Detroit:

  • How different might the Pistons’ season have looked if Reggie Jackson had been able to stay healthy? As Ansar Khan of MLive.com notes, Detroit had a 25-16 record in games Jackson played, which is a stat Van Gundy could point to when he meets with owner Tom Gores after the regular season ends.
  • Although the Pistons are officially out of the playoffs, there are still some important developments to watch down the stretch, says Rod Beard of The Detroit News. As Beard observes, Ellenson, Luke Kennard, and Stanley Johnson should get a significant chunk of minutes in the club’s final four games — and the Pistons could get to .500 without compromising their lottery position by winning their remaining games.
  • Ish Smith has seen action with 10 different teams in eight NBA seasons, but he has finally found a home with the Pistons, Beard writes in another piece for The Detroit News. Smith has one more year left on his contract with Detroit after this season.
  • With the 2017/18 season now in the books for the Grand Rapids Drive, expect two-way players Kay Felder and Reggie Hearn to be with the Pistons the rest of the way, tweets Beard.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/22/17

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

11:04pm:

  • The Hawks have assigned swingman Nicolas Brussino to their Erie affiliate, the team announced in an email. He has played two games with the Hawks and four with the BayHawks this season.

2:55pm:

  • After playing key roles in the Rio Grande Valley Vipers’ 138-124 win on Tuesday night, Troy Williams and Zhou Qi have been recalled to the Rockets, the team announced today (via Twitter). Williams scored a team-high 26 points for Houston’s G League affiliate last night, while Zhou had 18 points and four blocks.
  • The Lakers‘ NBA and G League teams are both in action tonight, and it appears rookie big man Thomas Bryant will suit up for L.A.’s affiliate rather than accompanying the NBA squad to Sacramento. Bryant was assigned today to the South Bay Lakers, according to a press release.
  • Rookie guard Furkan Korkmaz has been recalled to the NBA by the Sixers, the team announced today in a press release. Korkmaz had a big game for the Delaware 87ers on Tuesday, recording 27 points and eight rebounds in a loss to the Wisconsin Herd.
  • The Pistons have recalled Henry Ellenson from the G League, according to a team release. Ellenson poured in 31 points to go along with 10 rebounds for the Grand Rapids Drive on Tuesday night.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/21/17

Here are Tuesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

3:57pm:

  • The Cavaliers have recalled rookie center Ante Zizic from the G League, the team announced today in a press release. Zizic made his debut for the Canton Charge on Monday, racking up 14 points and 16 rebounds.
  • The Rockets have sent rookie Zhou Qi to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Feigen expects Zhou to return to the NBA after the Vipers’ Tuesday night contest vs. the Memphis Hustle.

3:01pm:

  • The Sixers have assigned rookie guard Furkan Korkmaz to their G League affiliate, the club announced today in a press release. Korkmaz, who has averaged 15.0 PPG in three games with the Delaware 87ers so far this season, figures to suit up for the club on Tuesday night against the Wisconsin Herd.
  • The Pacers have recalled 2017 second-round pick Ike Anigbogu from the G League, according to a press release from the club. The rookie center started two games during his assignment, averaging 12.0 PPG and 7.5 RPG for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in those games.
  • After sending him to the G League on Monday, the Raptors have recalled rookie forward Alfonzo McKinnie, the team announced today (via Twitter). McKinnie recorded 17 points and six boards for the Raptors 905 last night.
  • The Pistons have assigned second-year big man Henry Ellenson to the G League, the team announced today in a press release. Ellenson, who has appeared in just six NBA contests this season, figures to play major minutes for the Grand Rapids Drive in Tuesday’s game against the Oklahoma City Blue.
  • Rookies Khem Birch and Wesley Iwundu continue to yo-yo-back and forth between the NBA and the G League, having been assigned to Lakeland again today by the Magic (Twitter link).

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/5/17

Here are this weekend’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

10:08pm:

  • The Pistons recalled Luke Kennard and Henry Ellenson from the Grand Rapids Drive this evening, a team-issued press release says. This, after assigning them just earlier today. The two played in the G League affiliate’s season opener, Ellenson scoring 28 points and adding nine rebounds, Kennard adding 26 points of his own.

2:16pm:

  • The Pistons assigned rookie shooting guard Luke Kennard and second-year power forward Henry Ellenson to the G League today, the team announced in a press release. The duo helped lead the Grand Rapids Drive to an afternoon win over the Raptors 905, combining for 54 points.
  • The Spurs assigned Davis Bertans and Derrick White to the G League on Saturday, according to the club. Bertans poured in a team-high 27 points for the Austin Spurs on Saturday night, but it wasn’t enough to top the Texas Legends, who won 123-119.
  • The Clippers recalled rookie guard Jawun Evans from the G League on Saturday, per the team. The 2017 second-rounder struggled in his debut with the Agua Caliente Clippers on Friday night, scoring just four points on 2-of-11 shooting.

Pistons Pick Up Options On Johnson, Ellenson

The Pistons have picked up their fourth-year option on Stanley Johnson and third-year option on Henry Ellenson for 2018/19, the team announced in a press release Sunday. Detroit faced an Oct. 31 deadline to pick up their options for 2018/19. Johnson will make $3,940,402 next season while Ellenson will pocket $1,857,480.

Johnson, 21, enters his third NBA season. After a solid rookie campaign, Johnson’s scoring production was cut in half last season as he averaged 4.4 PPG and 2.5 RPG in 73 games. The first-round pick from 2015 (eighth overall) is still a young asset with potential and figures to be a key part of the Pistons’ team in 2017/18.

Ellenson, 20, only played in 19 games as a rookie last season, posting a meager 3.2 PPG and 2.2 RPG. However, the Pistons’ first-rounder (18th overall) from last season possesses a strong 6’11” frame and offensive potential that has forced the Pistons to consider him for a starting role.

For all of this year’s decisions on 2018/19 rookie scale options, be sure to check out our tracker.

Central Rumors: Zipser, Markkanen, Ellenson, Nachbar

Bulls swingman Paul Zipser projects as a starter during his second season in the league but he sees himself as more of a role player, as Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders details. Zipser, a second-round pick in 2016, will receive expanded playing time after the franchise moved All-Star Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves this summer. Zipser won’t provide All-Star level production but he’ll help the Bulls at both ends of the floor and deliver 12-15 points per game, according to Brigham. “I don’t need to be the leader of the team or the top scorer of the team or to have the ball in my hands the whole time,” he told Brigham. “That’s not who I am as a person, but I wanted a bigger role and more opportunity to do some leading along with some other guys on the team. And that’s what I think is going to happen.” If Zipser flops, his future with the Bulls beyond this season is uncertain. His $1,544,951 salary for 2018/19 is not guaranteed.

In other developments concerning the Central Division:

  • The Bulls would be wise to leave rookie big man Lauri Markkanen at power forward, Vince Goodwill of NBCSports.com opines. Markkanen looks overmatched at this stage trying to guard the likes of Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins, as he did in a preseason game on Sunday, Goodwill continues. However, since the Bulls have two rotation-worthy centers and power forwards, he’ll have to play both positions to get playing time this season, Goodwill notes.
  • Veteran Anthony Tolliver is likely to nab a rotation spot over second-year player Henry Ellenson, but the young Pistons power forward is making that a tougher call, as Keith Langlois of Pistons.com explains. Coach Stan Van Gundy told Langlois and other media members after Ellenson scored 16 points against the Hawks in a preseason game this weekend that Ellenson has made a strong impression in training camp. “He’s probably been the most consistent of anybody,” Van Gundy said. “Every time we play, every time we practice, he really hasn’t had – I don’t remember a bad day since the start of camp. I think his confidence is sky high. He’s really focused on what he has to do. He’s playing very, very well.”
  • The Pistons have added Bostjan Nachbar to their international scouting staff, overseas expert David Pick tweets. Nachbar played for three NBA franchises from 2002-08 after the Rockets made him a mid-first-round selection in 2002.

Pistons Notes: Drummond, Ellenson, Johnson, Jackson

Many teams remain interested in trading for Pistons center Andre Drummond, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. Ellis talked to several talent evaluators around the league, who say that at age 24, Drummond still has the potential to become a successful big man despite questions about his energy and defense. Teams don’t seem reluctant to take on Drummond’s contract, which will pay him more than $105MM over the next four seasons.

The people Ellis spoke with don’t believe the Pistons are currently shopping Drummond, athough they were over the offseason and before February’s trade deadline. However, he cites two potentially interested parties in Knicks GM Scott Perry, who was an assistant GM in Detroit when Drummond was drafted, and Clippers executive VP Lawrence Frank, who coached the Pistons when Drummond was a rookie.

There’s more this morning out of Detroit:

  • Henry Ellenson‘s impressive preseason could mean more minutes for the second-year big man, Ellis adds in the same piece. Coach Stan Van Gundy said Ellenson is “playing at a high level” after he scored 16 points in 17 minutes Friday. He is competing with Tobias Harris, Jon Leuer and Anthony Tolliver for playing time at power forward.
  • The competition at power forward will keep Stanley Johnson at small forward, which may not be his best position, Ellis writes in a separate story. Many observers believe Johnson would excel as a stretch four, but Van Gundy expects nearly all of Johnson’s minutes this season to come at small forward. “We just don’t really have a need for another [power forward],” Van Gundy said. “There may be some defensive things late in the game where teams go small and we could go small with him, but we’ve got enough stuff we could run without having him to spend a lot of time there. I’m not going to confuse him and have him having to work and know all the sets at [power forward].”
  • Point guard Reggie Jackson is ready to take on a larger leadership role this season, Ellis writes in a another story. Now one of the oldest players on the team at 27, Jackson wants to erase the nightmare of last year when knee problems forced him to miss the start of the season and the team wasn’t able to incorporate him smoothly once he returned. Part of the problem was physical, as assistant coach Tim Hardaway says Jackson never fully recovered. “He’s the catalyst,” Hardaway said. “He wants to come out here and be the man. He can be the man, but first he has to be healthy. Once he’s 100% and shape, everybody’s going to see a different Reggie because last year he was hurt all the time.”

Central Notes: Shumpert, Teodosic, Ellenson

The Cavaliers will be without swingman Iman Shumpert for the next seven-to-10 days, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes. The 27-year-old sprained his left foot in a preseason game this week and could be sidelined until the regular season begins.

Shumpert’s absence comes at a critical time for the Cavaliers, who will be hard-pressed to trim down their roster after the addition of Dwyane Wade last week. While Shumpert has been reassured of his role with the club, Cavs fans will be eager to see what the veteran is capable of producing in 2017/18.

Shumpert, owed $11MM in 2017/18, saw his role with the Cavaliers decrease toward the end of last season and averaged just 7.5 points and 2.9 rebounds per game for the team on the year.

This year, with considerably more depth in the mix in Cleveland, it will be interesting to see what sort of role the perimeter defender carves out for himself with the Cavaliers. Missing the duration of preseason won’t help him make a solid impression.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • It won’t be easy for Stan Van Gundy to narrow his Pistons rotation down to eight or nine players, especially considering how Henry Ellenson has played of late, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. The head coach will need to find a way of balancing the minutes for Ellenson, Anthony Tolliver, Tobias Harris and Jon Leuer, all of whom can play the four.
  • Expect Justin Holiday to step into a leadership role with the rebuilding Bulls, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times writes. “He’s done a good job of pulling the group together,” head coach Fred Hoiberg said. “If we’re having a stretch in practice where we’re struggling or we’re hitting adversity and we’re not handling it the right way, if we need a shot of energy, Justin is the guy that pulls the group together. And you have to have a guy like that.
  • The Bulls were supposedly close to a deal with Milos Teodosic this summer but it was derailed when the club traded Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves, effectively shifting their focus to a full-on rebuild. The guard’s agent, Nick Lotsos, spoke of the free agency process to NBA Greece (article translated by Eurohoops).

Central Notes: Johnson, Paxson, Green

There haven’t been any reported indications that the Pistons are pursuing a specific trade, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press notes, but the asset he posits would be most valuable if they were is third-year man Stanley Johnson.

Ellis cites the interest that Johnson drew at the trade deadline as the biggest indication that teams would still be interested in taking a flyer on the intriguing physical specimen. In addition to his impressive 6’7″, 235-pound, NBA-ready frame, the Pistons forward also has a palatable contract that would serve a contending team well.

Involved in a deal or not, however, this season marks Johnson’s best chance to succeed as he’ll break camp as the most natural small forward on the Pistons’ roster.

Ellis suggests that Henry Ellenson and Luke Kennard wouldn’t be quite as valuable considering their lack of NBA success and that the biggest limitation on Andre Drummond‘s trade value would be his hefty contract.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The man calling the shots in Chicago’s front office is John Paxson. The Bulls executive is as powerful as ever, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune writes. The new perspective – especially new after the arrival of Doug Collins this week – could serve them well as they officially embark on a rebuild.
  • As Jeff Green settles into life with the Cavaliers, he does so with a unique connection to the city of Cleveland. The forward, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes, underwent major heart surgery at the world-famous Cleveland Clinic back in 2012.
  • Expect second-year Pistons forward Henry Ellenson to vie for a larger role in 2017/18. As Rod Beard of The Detroit News writes, the sophomore forward has been focusing specifically on improving his defense and three-ball, two qualities that head coach Stan Van Gundy is known to put great stock in.