Pistons select Marquette forward Henry Ellenson in first
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Pistons selected Marquette forward Henry Ellenson with the number 18 pick in the NBA draft Thursday night.
Ellenson averaged 17 points and 9.7 rebounds last season as a freshman. He also led the team with 49 blocked shots.
The 6-foot-11 Ellenson set school records for scoring and rebounding for a freshman. Although he is big enough to play around the basket, Ellenson can also run the floor and make jumpers. However, he shot only 29 percent from 3-point range in 2015-16.
Detroit went 44-38 last season, making the playoffs for the first time since 2009. The Pistons were swept in the first round by Cleveland.
The Pistons have built around star center Andre Drummond, and Ellenson could add some more scoring punch inside.
Stan Van Gundy, Detroit’s coach and team president, said Ellenson was 10th in the Pistons’ draft board, so they were pleased he dropped all the way to No. 18. Van Gundy said the Pistons won’t rush Ellenson if he needs time to develop.
Detroit’s starting forwards, Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris, are both 6-foot-9, so Ellenson could give the Pistons more size alongside Drummond. Detroit also could use more depth at point guard, but Vanderbilt’s Wade Baldwin went to Memphis, one pick ahead of Detroit.