Henry Ellenson

Central Notes: Bucks, Williams, Drummond, Pistons

The Bucks have a couple of options beyond making a trade to drop back below the luxury-tax line, as Gery Woelfel of WoelfelPressBox.com points out. Citing sources, Woelfel calculates the current Milwaukee payroll at $120.6MM, which would put it approximately $1.4MM over the tax threshold. The Bucks could shed some payroll by either releasing point guard Gary Payton Jr., who has a non-guaranteed $1.3MM deal, and/or waiving Spencer Hawes $6.5MM contract. By using the stretch provision, the Bucks could reduce Hawes’ 2017/18 cap hit by more than $4MM.

In other items involving the Central Division:

  • Unrestricted free agent forward Derrick Williams could wind up back with the Cavaliers, Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net reports. Williams has drawn little interest in the open market but the Cavs could sign him to a one-year, $2.4MM contract once they decide whether to trade Kyrie Irving, Amico adds. Williams averaged 6.2 PPG and 2.3 RPG on 51% shooting in 17.1 MPG over 25 regular-season games with Cleveland but was used sparingly in the playoffs.
  • Andre Drummond has already noticed a significant difference in his breathing and stamina since undergoing sinus surgery this summer to correct a deviated septum, Rod Beard of the Detroit News reports. Playing at a high altitude in the NBA Africa Game in South Africa, the Pistons center said he was breathing much easier on and off the court, as he told Beard. “Just being able to breathe, I can’t even explain how great it feels to sleep easier and breathe easier when I play,” Drummond said. “I’m not worried about gasping for air when I go hard.” Drummond had been breathing mainly through one nostril during his NBA career prior to the surgery.
  • Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy will have difficult decisions on his power forward rotation, as Keith Langlois of Pistons.com notes. Tobias Harris could wind up splitting his time between both forward spots and the rest of the power forward minutes will be soaked up by a combination of Jon Leuer, Anthony Tolliver and second-year man Henry Ellenson. Leuer, who signed a four-year contract last summer, could wind up as the starter despite slumping badly after the All-Star break, Langlois continues. Tolliver signed up for his second stint with the franchise this summer and brings the elements of toughness and 3-point shooting, while Ellenson put his shot-making ability on display in summer-league action, Langlois adds.

Pistons Notes: Drummond, Combine, Johnson, Dumars

Pistons center Andre Drummond may start wearing a facemask to protect his nose, according to Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. Drummond recently underwent surgery to fix a deviated septum, which has limited his breathing for several years. Coach Stan Van Gundy said the procedure could make Drummond more vulnerable to having his nose broken, which is why the mask is being considered. “The only thing is there’s a little bit of a chance that it makes you more susceptible to breaks, which he knew going in, which means he may have to wear a mask, at times,” Van Gundy said. “Or if it gets hit. So we’ll see.” He added that Drummond is ” feeling a thousand times better” since the procedure.

There’s more news out of Detroit:

  • The Pistons asked the prospects they interviewed at this week’s draft combine to break down film clips, Ellis adds in the same story. Gonzaga big man Zach Collins said Detroit was one of the few teams he talked to that asked for film analysis, but Van Gundy is a believer in the technique. “There is no right or wrong answer; I just like to hear them talk about basketball and articulate what they see on the court,” Van Gundy said. “Most of them will go back to their rules in college about defensive rotations. I’m not worried about what it is [they know], but more if guys have a pretty clear understanding of what they think should be done.”
  • Second-year swingman Stanley Johnson expressed a willingness to play in the Orlando Pro Summer League, but the Pistons seem to have decided against it, Ellis relays in another story. Van Gundy says the decision was made in last month’s exit meeting. “I think what we might do with him is – and he talked it about when he left – go down [to Orlando] and practice with us,” Van Gundy said.[Reggie] Bullock did it with us last year. Go down and practice, but not anything else.” He added that rookies Henry Ellenson and Michael Gbinije will definitely be part of the summer league team.
  • Pistons legend and former executive Joe Dumars is honored to be a candidate to run the Hawks, Vincent adds in a separate piece. Appearing this week on ESPN’s “The Jump,” Dumars addressed rumors that he is being considered for the top job in Atlanta. “There’s only 30 of these jobs in the world,” he said. “If I’m fortunate enough to be with the Hawks or anyone else, I look at it as a great opportunity because these are tough jobs.” Grant Hill, Dumars’ former teammate in Detroit, is a minority owner of the Hawks.

Central Notes: George, Udrih, The Palace

If Paul George doesn’t get named to an All-NBA team, he “probably” won’t remain with the Pacers, Steven Ruiz of USA Today writes. Ruiz makes the bold claim while describing how the new collective bargaining agreement ties max contract compensation to personal accolades determined by the media.

Should George be named to an All-NBA team, he’ll be eligible to earn about $70MM more with the Pacers than he would with any other franchise. Such is the case with the new designated player exception. With or without the designated player exception, George will be eligible to sign for a longer term with Indiana than with any other squad.

George got off to a slow start with the Pacers this season but has spent much of the past two months demonstrating why he had previously been heralded as a franchise cornerstone. On the season he’s posted 23.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game but in March he ramped those averages up to 25.3 points and 6.9 rebounds.

There’s no shortage of competent competition with which the Pacers star will be in contention for the award but it’s certainly plausible he gets named to an All-NBA team for the fourth time in five season. Expect him to be held in contrast with players like Draymond Green, Gordon Hayward and Jimmy Butler with the two forward positions on the Third Team up for grabs.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The recovery time for Pistons guard Beno Udrih‘s knee injury is six to eight weeks, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets. Udrih will be a free agent this summer.
  • As of today, C.J. Miles 2017/18 deal with the Pacers becomes guaranteed at $4.7MM, tweets The Vertical’s Bobby Marks. The veteran guard also holds a player option, however.
  • The silver lining of a disappointing Pistons season is that April has given the team a chance to get a good look at Boban Marjanovic and Henry Ellenson. According to Rod Beard of the Detroit News, head coach Stan Van Gundy has given them favorable reviews.
  • Michigan has said goodbye to two major facilities in two days and David Mayo of MLive considers what the finales of both the Palace of Auburn Hills and Joe Louis Arena mean to the region. The Pistons will join the NHL’s Red Wings in the Little Caesars Arena next season. With the Palace out of the picture, Madison Square Garden serves as the only NBA venue without a corporately sponsored name.

Central Notes: Pistons, Ellenson, Wade, Irving

Charlotte’s loss to the Celtics tonight officially extinguished the Pistons‘ faint playoff hopes, writes Aaron McMann of MLive. Detroit entered the night with the possibility of sneaking into the postseason through a multi-team tiebreaker, but both the Pistons and Hornets had to win all their remaining games for that to happen. Coach Stan Van Gundy has been realistic about the team’s fate for some time now, McMann notes, deciding two weeks ago to shut down point guard Reggie Jackson for the season and giving more time to the team’s younger players. Detroit faces several important decisions this offseason, with the most pressing one involving restricted free agent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

There’s more news from Detroit and throughout the Central Division:

  • Pistons rookie big man Henry Ellenson posted a double-double Friday night with 15 points and 11 rebounds in his first start of the season, notes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Van Gundy recently said that Ellenson and Boban Marjanovic “can be real contributors next year,” especially with backup center Aron Baynes expected to sign elsewhere in free agency. Friday’s game was just the 16th with the Pistons for Ellenson, who has spent most of the year in the D-League. “He can put it on the floor. He made the one good baseline drive and dish to Boban. He’s got offensive skill,” Van Gundy said. “The guy’s a good player. He’s like a lot of our guys right now. He’s got to shoot the ball more consistently. But he’s a talented offensive guy.”
  • Dwyane Wade gave the Bulls a bit of good news in an otherwise horrible afternoon in Brooklyn, relays Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. Chicago dropped a key game in its pursuit of a playoff spot, but Wade was able to get through the contest with no pain in his right elbow. It was his first game since fracturing the elbow March 15th. “Elbow felt cool,” Wade said. “Just my legs, trying to get my legs back. And my wind back. But my elbow felt great.”
  • The Cavaliers should shut down Kyrie Irving for the rest of the regular season after his latest knee flare-up, contends Marla Ridenour of The Akron Beacon Journal. The star point guard reported pain Thursday in his left knee, which was surgically repaired after a kneecap fracture in the 2015 NBA Finals. Irving sat out a game last month with tightness in the knee, and Ridenour argues that the Cavs shouldn’t risk his health in pursuit of the top seed in the East. “I’m doing everything possible to take care of my body, I’ve got a clear conscience with that,” Irving said. “But also understand that sometimes it’s gonna hurt. And I gotta be able to deal with it.”

Eastern Notes: Pistons, Wizards, Henson, McRoberts

Pistons center Boban Marjanovic and rookie power forward Henry Ellenson will get a long look during the last four games of the season, Aaron McMann of MLive.com reports. Marjanovic, who signed a three-year, $21MM contract as a free agent last summer, has played sparingly behind Andre Drummond and Aron Baynes. Marjanovic could have a bigger role next season if Baynes opts out of the final year of his contract. Ellenson, the team’s first-round selection last June, has spent most of the season with the team’s D-League affiliate in Grand Rapids, Mich.  “We will still play our main guys, but we’ll get Henry and Boban in there every night,” coach Stan Van Gundy told the team’s beat reporters.

In other developments around the Eastern Conference:

  • Power forward Jason Smith has proven to be a bargain pickup for the Wizards, according to J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com. Smith, who played for the Magic last season, signed a three-year, $15MM deal as a free agent last summer. He’s averaging 5.6 PPG but is shooting 49.2% from 3-point range and 53.1% overall despite getting dropped from the rotation on occasion, Michael continues. His screening has also been a valuable asset, Michael adds.
  • Bucks big man John Henson will lose $250K in bonus incentives because of his current thumb injury, Bobby Marks of The Vertical tweets.  Henson needed to play in 60 games to collect the bonus. Henson signed a four-year extension in October 2015 that kicked in at the start of this season. The contract is worth between $44MM and $48MM, depending upon if Henson reaches certain incentives.
  • Heat forward Josh McRoberts participated in his first contact practice on Tuesday since he was sidelined in late December with a stress fracture in his left foot, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Coach Erik Spoelstra is still uncertain if McRoberts will return this season, Jackson adds. McRoberts holds a $6MM option on his contract for next season.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 3/26/17

Check out Sunday’s D-League assignment and recalls:

  • The Pistons have recalled Henry Ellenson from their D-League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, Rod Beard of The Detroit News tweets. Beard notes that the rookie will be available for Detroit’s matchup with the Knicks on Monday.
  • The Cavaliers have assigned Larry Sanders to the Canton Charge, per Sam Amico of Amico Hoops (Twitter link). Sanders has only seen two minutes of action for Cleveland this season.
  • The Spurs have assigned Davis Bertans and Bryn Forbes to the Austin Spurs, according to the team’s website. Bertans has appeared in three games for San Antonio’s D-League affiliate, while Forbes has seen action in 18 contests.
  • The Mavericks have recalled Manny Harris and Jarrod Uthoff from the Texas Legends, Earl K. Sneed of Fox Sports tweets. Both players will see their respective 10-day contracts with Dallas expire at the end of the day on Tuesday.
  • The Rockets have recalled Chinanu Onuaku, Isaiah Taylor and Troy Williams from their D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, per the team’s Twitter feed.
  • The Grizzlies have recall Wade Baldwin and Deyonta Davis from the Iowa Energy, according to the team’s website. Baldwin has played in 33 D-League games this season, while Davis has seen action in 11 contests.
  • The Pelicans recalled Cheick Diallo from Greensboro, the team announced through a press release. Diallo, who has averaged 22.3 points over his last three D-League games, will be available for tonight’s match-up with Denver.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 3/20/17

Here are the D-League transactions from Monday:

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 3/14/17

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

10:12 pm: 

  • The Cavaliers have assigned Larry Sanders to the Canton Charge, according to the D-League Digest (Twitter link). Cleveland signed Sanders on Monday.
  • The Hawks have assigned DeAndre’ Bembry to the Salt Lake City Stars, according to the team’s website. Atlanta doesn’t have its own D-League affiliate, so the rookie will play for Utah’s affiliate, per the league’s flex assignment rule.

5:32pm:

3:58pm:

  • The Clippers announced they have recalled Brice Johnson from the Salt Lake City Stars (press release). Johnson, the 25th overall pick in the 2016 draft, has largely been inactive this season due to a herniated disk in his back.
  • The Pistons have recalled Henry Ellenson from the D-League, according to the team.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 3/10/17

Here are Friday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • Having signed him to a 10-day contract, the Mavericks have now recalled Manny Harris from their D-League affiliate, tweets Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com. Harris, assigned to the Texas Legends for one more game after signing with the Mavs on Thursday, put up 31 points last month in a loss to Northern Arizona.
  • The Pistons have sent Henry Ellenson and Michael Gbinije back to their D-League affiliate for the weekend, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. The Grand Rapids Drive will play games in Erie tonight and tomorrow.
  • Rookie guard Malik Beasley is headed to the Sioux Falls Skyforce on an assignment, the Nuggets announced today in a press release. Denver doesn’t have its own D-League squad yet, so this is Beasley’s fifth assignment to Miami’s affiliate.
  • The Lakers have assigned Ivica Zubac to the D-League for tonight’s game against Reno, per Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News (Twitter link). Zubac has had a more regular role for the Lakers over the last month, and will get a chance to suit up for the D-Fenders today with the NBA club not in action until Sunday.
  • The Knicks have assigned Maurice Ndour to Westchester, the team announced today (via Twitter). The rookie forward has averaged 14.3 PPG and 6.7 RPG in 12 D-League games this season.
  • The Grizzlies have assigned Deyonta Davis to the Iowa Energy, the team announced in a press release. The No. 31 overall pick in the 2016 draft, Davis has been used sparingly in David Fizdale’s rotation; accumulating four DNP’s over Memphis’ last seven games. Davis has averaged 8.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks over five games with the Energy in 2016/17.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 3/3/17

Here are the D-League transactions for Friday:

  • The Pelicans have assigned forward Cheick Diallo to the D-League, the team reports in a press release on its website. Diallo has averaged 13.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in 18 contests with the Greensboro Swarm.
  • The Pistons have recalled rookies Henry Ellenson and Michael Gbinije from their D-League affiliate, Rod Beard of the Detroit News. Ellenson and Gbinije have seen action in 14 and nine games for the Pistons respectively.
  • The Wizards have assigned center Chris McCullough to the D-League, writes Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic. McCullough has averaged 18.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in 31 D-League contests this season. Having previously played for the Long Island Nets, McCullough is expected to join the Northern Arizona Suns on this assignment, says Hughes.
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