Henry Ellenson

And-Ones: Offseason Questions, Zipser, Ellenson, Henry

In a piece on Monday for ESPN (Insider-only link), Bobby Marks laid out the 10 questions that he believes will define the 2021 off-season.

Some of the questions discussed include how COVID-19 will affect the league’s salary cap, which position has the deepest free agent pool, the next All-Star to get traded, and the futures of stars Chris Paul and Kawhi Leonard with their current teams, as well as the Grizzlies‘ ability to be a dark-horse player in free agency.

As a bonus, Marks touches on Joel Embiid‘s looming extension, whether Kevin Love can rediscover his game and improve his trade value with Team USA, John Collins‘ restricted free agency, and more.

We have more from around the world of basketball:

And-Ones: Theus, Griffin, Ellenson, Wanamaker

Bethune-Cookman University is expected to hire former NBA guard Reggie Theus as its athletic director and men’s basketball head coach, according to Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated.

The agreement is set to become official this week, Spears notes. Theus will replace Ryan Ridder, who left for the same position to join the University of Tennessee-Martin in March.

According to Jeff Goodman of Stadium (Twitter link), the school failed to notify interim coach Dominique Jones of its decision before the ESPN report surfaced, with Jones being responsible for much of the recruiting duties in recent weeks.

Theus was the No. 9 pick in the 1978 NBA Draft. He spent 13 years in the league, making stops with Chicago (two All-Star seasons), Kansas City, Sacramento, Atlanta, Orlando and New Jersey during his career.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former Jazz two-way forward Eric Griffin has reached an agreement with AEK Athens B.C. in Greece, a source told Hoops Rumors. News of the sides being close to a deal was first reported by SDNA. Griffin went undrafted back in 2012 and has mostly played overseas since then, most recently playing in Australia’s NBL.
  • Free agent big man Henry Ellenson is drawing serious interest from KK Cedevita Olimpija in Slovenia, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter link). Ellenson holds 83 games of NBA experience and is coming off a brief stint with the Raptors in 2020/21.
  • Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv is expressing interest in former NBA guard Brad Wanamaker, Orazio Cauchi of Basketnews.com writes. Wanamaker spent time with the Warriors and Hornets this season, also playing 107 games with the Celtics from 2018-20.

NBA G League Announces 2020/21 All-NBAGL Teams

After being named the G League’s Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year on Monday, Delaware Blue Coats forward Paul Reed – who is on a two-way contract with the Sixers – headlines the All-NBA G League First Team, as the league announced today in a press release.

Reed was joined on the All-NBAGL first team by MVP runner-up Kevin Porter Jr. of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, as well as Oklahoma City Blue big man Moses Brown, Lakeland Magic forward Mamadi Diakite, and Westchester Knicks guard Jared Harper. All of those players are currently on either standard NBA contracts or two-way deals.

That’s a common theme for this year’s All-NBAGL teams. The majority of the 15 players named to the three squads are either currently under contract with NBA teams or have past NBA experience.

The complete list of the 2020/21 All-NBA G League teams, along with the All-Rookie and All-Defensive squads, is below. Players currently on NBA contracts are noted with an asterisk (*), while those on two-way contracts are noted with a caret (^).


All-NBAGL First Team:

  • Paul Reed (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Kevin Porter Jr. (Rio Grande Valley Vipers) *
  • Moses Brown (Oklahoma City Blue) ^
  • Mamadi Diakite (Lakeland Magic) ^
  • Jared Harper (Westchester Knicks) ^

All-NBAGL Second Team:

All-NBAGL Third Team:


NBAGL All-Rookie Team:

  • Paul Reed (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Mamadi Diakite (Lakeland Magic) ^
  • Malachi Flynn (Raptors 905) *
  • Brodric Thomas (Canton Charge) ^
  • KJ Martin (Rio Grande Valley Vipers) *

NBAGL All-Defensive Team:

  • Paul Reed (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Moses Brown (Oklahoma City Blue) ^
  • Mamadi Diakite (Lakeland Magic) ^
  • Tahjere McCall (Lakeland Magic)
  • Gary Payton II (Raptors 905)

Of the 18 players who earned a spot on one of the G League’s All-NBAGL, All-Rookie, or All-Defensive teams this year, only four – Brissett, Uthoff, McCall, and Payton – haven’t been on some form of standard, two-way, or 10-day NBA contract since the ’20/21 season began. All four of them have previous NBA experience.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sixers’ Paul Reed Named G League Rookie Of The Year, MVP

Sixers two-way player Paul Reed has a pair of two major NBA G League awards for the 2020/21 season, having been named the NBAGL Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player, per a press release. He beat out Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. and Raptors 905 big man Henry Ellenson, who finished second and third, respectively, in MVP voting.

Reed, the 58th overall pick in the 2020 draft, spent the entire G League season at the NBAGL bubble in Walt Disney World, appearing in all 15 games and helping to lead the Delaware Blue Coats to a 10-5 record and a spot in the G League Finals.

In 31.5 minutes per contest, Reed filled up the box score with 22.3 PPG, 11.9 RPG, 2.3 APG, 2.0 SPG, and 1.8 BPG. He also posted a scorching .588/.444/.789 shooting line.

Reed hasn’t seen much action at the NBA level so far this season, logging just 64 minutes in seven games for Philadelphia. However, he’s considered a promising young prospect and is expected to have his two-way deal turned into a standard contract at some point.

Reed is the third player to be named the G League Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season, joining Tim Frazier (2015) and Devin Brown (2003).

Raptors Sign Henry Ellenson To 10-Day Contract

5:18pm: The signing is official, the team announced in a press release.


10:11am: The Raptors will fill the open spot on their 15-man roster by signing free agent power forward Henry Ellenson to a 10-day contract, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Ellenson, who was in camp with Toronto in December, had been playing for the Raptors 905 in the G League bubble for the last month. Toronto’s NBAGL affiliate was eliminated from the postseason on Tuesday night, and it appears the Raptors are wasting no time in calling up the 24-year-old to the NBA club.

The 18th overall pick in 2016, Ellenson has appeared in a total of 81 NBA regular season contests for the Pistons, Knicks, and Nets, averaging just 4.0 PPG and 2.4 RPG in 9.2 minutes per game.

He has played a more regular role in the G League across 74 career NBAGL games. This season, he recorded 21.2 PPG and 8.1 RPG on .493/.427/.882 shooting in 15 games (30.6 MPG) as a key contributor for a Raptors 905 squad that earned the No. 1 seed heading into the single-elimination playoffs. The team was knocked out in the semifinals.

Ellenson, who received a $50K partial guarantee on his initial preseason deal with the Raptors, will earn approximately $119K on his new 10-day deal, with Toronto taking on a $111K cap hit, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). He’ll fill the roster spot that was vacated when Donta Hall‘s 10-day deal with the club expired over the weekend.

Raptors Cut Oshae Brissett, Alize Johnson, Henry Ellenson

The Raptors have waived forward Oshae Brissett, forward Alize Johnson, and big man Henry Ellenson as they move closer to setting their regular season roster, the team announced today.

Brissett, who went undrafted out of Syracuse in 2019, spent his rookie year on a two-way contract with Toronto, appearing in 19 games for the NBA team and 30 for the Raptors 905 in the G League. He averaged 14.9 PPG and 6.6 RPG in 30 games (27.8 MPG) at the NBAGL level.

Since Brissett’s new multiyear deal with the Raptors had a $300K partial guarantee in year one, the club will remain on the hook for that money unless he’s claimed off waivers on Monday.

Johnson was the 50th overall pick in the 2018 draft and spent his first two professional seasons under contract with the Pacers. The 24-year-old logged just 182 total minutes in 31 games at the NBA level over those two years, but posted big numbers for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the G League, with 19.5 PPG, 13.4 RPG, and 3.7 APG on .514/.363/.699 shooting in 50 career NBAGL contests.

The 18th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Ellenson has bounced around from Detroit to New York to Brooklyn since entering the league, appearing in just 81 total games over four seasons. The former Marquette standout, who is still just 23 years old, started last season on a two-way contract with the Nets but was waived in January.

Both Johnson and Ellenson were training camp invitees who always looked like long shots to make the Raptors’ regular season roster. Johnson’s deal was non-guaranteed, while Ellenson had a modest $50K guarantee.

The Raptors are now down to 15 players on standard contracts and a pair on two-way deals, but will likely make a couple more roster moves before their regular season squad is locked in. According to Kelsea O’Brien of BasketballNews.com (Twitter link), current two-way player Paul Watson is expected to be promoted to the standard roster. Camp invitee Yuta Watanabe appears likely to fill Watson’s two-way contract slot, notes Blake Murphy of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Raptors Sign Jalen Harris To Two-Way Deal, Re-Sign Oshae Brissett

The Raptors have officially filled out their training camp roster, having signed second-round pick Jalen Harris to a two-way contract and restricted free agent forward Oshae Brissett to a multiyear deal, per RealGM’s official log of NBA transactions.

Harris, who began his college career at Louisiana Tech, transferred to Nevada and had a huge year in 2019/20 as a junior, averaging 21.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 3.9 APG with a .446/.362/.823 shooting line in 30 games (33.0 MPG). The 22-year-old guard declared for the draft and was selected by the Raptors with the 59th overall pick. He’ll occupy one of the team’s two-way slots, while Paul Watson holds the other.

As for Brissett, he appeared in 19 games for the Raptors on a two-way contract as a rookie last season, playing mostly garbage-time minutes. The former Syracuse standout averaged 1.9 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 7.1 minutes per contest. In 30 G League games for the Raptors 905, he bumped those numbers to 14.9 PPG and 6.6 RPG in 27.8 MPG.

Brissett received a two-way qualifying offer from Toronto, but the two sides ended up negotiating a new standard contract instead — it’ll probably be a two-year deal worth the minimum salary. He’ll likely get a small partial guarantee in year one and will compete in training camp for a regular season roster spot, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic.

Brissett’s competitors for the 15th roster spot will be Henry Ellenson, Yuta Watanabe, and Alize Johnson. Their deals, which were reported on Friday, are all official now too, per RealGM.

Raptors Signing Henry Ellenson, Yuta Watanabe, Alize Johnson

The Raptors will be adding big man Henry Ellenson, forward Yuta Watanabe, and forward Alize Johnson to their training camp roster, according to Blake Murphy of The Athletic (via Twitter).

As Murphy outlines, Ellenson will sign a two-year, minimum-salary contract with a $50K partial guarantee on year one. Details aren’t provided for Watanabe’s deal or Johnson’s, but the safe bet would be a pair of Exhibit 10 contracts, which are essentially non-guaranteed one-year deals.

All three players will have an uphill battle to earn a spot on the regular season roster, though the 15th spot could be up for grabs if the Raptors don’t sign second-round pick Jalen Harris to a standard contract, promote two-way player Paul Watson, or retain two-way RFA Oshae Brissett.

The 18th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Ellenson has bounced around from Detroit to New York to Brooklyn since entering the league, appearing in just 81 total games over four seasons. The former Marquette standout, who is still just 23 years old, started last season on a two-way contract with the Nets but was waived in January.

Watanabe, one of just two Japanese-born players currently in the league, spent the last two seasons on a two-way contract with the Grizzlies. The 26-year-old didn’t see much playing time at the NBA level, but was solid in the G League, averaging 17.2 PPG and 6.0 RPG on .546/.364/.816 shooting in 22 games for the Memphis Hustle in 2019/20.

Johnson was the 50th overall pick in the 2018 draft and has spent his first two professional seasons under contract with the Pacers. The 24-year-old logged just 182 total minutes in 31 games at the NBA level over those two years, but posted big numbers for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the G League, with 19.5 PPG, 13.4 RPG, and 3.7 APG on .514/.363/.699 shooting in 50 career NBAGL contests. The Pacers didn’t tender him a qualifying offer last week, so he entered the market as an unrestricted free agent.

The moves will take the Raptors’ unofficial roster count to 19, not including Brissett.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Raptors, Pelle, Anderson

Knicks management didn’t make any public statements during the preseason suggesting they expected to make the postseason, but Ian Begley of SNY.tv hears that the front office privately conveyed to players that anything less than a playoff spot would be a disappointment. According to Begley, Knicks players who can become free agents in 2020 were told they’d be judged more heavily on the team’s win-loss record than on their individual play.

As Begley explains, management may have been trying to motivate a roster that consisted of mostly young players or newcomers. If that was the plan, it has backfired, as the Knicks have fallen well short of those expectations.

Begley’s article is worth checking out in full for more details on the pressure the coaches and players have felt this season and how those preseason expectations influenced the decision to fire David Fizdale. In my view, if Steve Mills and Scott Perry legitimately believed the Knicks should be a playoff team, that should be more of an indictment of their ability to build and evaluate a roster than of the coaches’ or players’ performances.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • While there has been speculation since Kawhi Leonard‘s departure last summer that the Raptors could become sellers due to their expiring veteran contracts, their success this season has made that increasingly unlikely. President of basketball operations Masai Ujiri essentially confirmed as much this week when he said the Raps will “die trying” to defend their title, as Julia Kreuz of Sportsnet.ca relays. “If we do something (on the trade market), it’s out of the fact that we think this is giving us a chance, or a bigger chance, and right now I think we have that chance, if we continue to play ball and continue to figure it out,” Ujiri said.
  • Sixers two-way player Norvel Pelle reached his 45-day NBA limit when he was active on Wednesday night vs. Toronto, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Pelle is unsure what’s next for him, suggesting he’ll leave that up to his agent and the team. If he’s not converted to a standard contract – perhaps after the trade deadline – he won’t be eligible to suit up for the 76ers until after the G League regular season ends in late March.
  • The Nets‘ and Raptors‘ G League teams swapped a pair of players with NBA experience, as the Raptors 905 traded swingman Justin Anderson to the Long Island Nets for big man Henry Ellenson. Ellenson was a two-way player for Brooklyn earlier in the season, while Anderson was on a 10-day contract with the Nets this month. Kelsea O’Brien of Raptors Republic first reported the deal (via Twitter).

Nets Waive Forward Henry Ellenson

5:32pm: The Nets have officially waived Ellenson, according to a team press release.

1:01pm: The Nets‘ series of roster moves will include waiving two-way player Henry Ellenson, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wonjarowski, who tweets that Brooklyn may use its newly-opened two-way slot to add a backcourt piece.

As we relayed on Thursday, the Nets are also making changes to their 15-man roster, waiving injured swingman David Nwaba and signing G League wing Justin Anderson to a 10-day contract to replace him.

Ellenson, a former 18th overall pick, has been one of Brooklyn’s two-way players this season, alongside Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. While TLC has gotten the opportunity to play a rotation role, Ellenson appeared in just five games at the NBA level, logging 15 total minutes. The big man has spent most of the season with the Long Island Nets, averaging 18.3 PPG and 9.5 RPG in 11 NBAGL games (28.6 MPG).

January 15 is the deadline for teams to sign players to two-way contracts, so the Nets figure to fill their open spot by then. If Brooklyn wants to promote Luwawu-Cabarrot to the 15-man roster, the team could end up adding a pair of new two-way players.