NBA draft profile: Marquette F Henry Ellenson


Henry Ellenson

Position: Forward

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 240 pounds

School: Marquette

Ellenson was considered a surefire top-10 pick throughout his first and only season at Marquette, but his stock seems to be slipping as the 2016 NBA draft approaches.

I'm a fan of Ellenson's game, particularly on the offensive end of the floor. He projects as a classic stretch four at the NBA level. Ellenson is more than capable of scoring with his back to the basket on the low block, but he also has shooting range that extends to 20-plus feet.

Ellenson averaged 17 points and just under 10 rebounds as a freshman at Marquette. On top of his natural scoring instincts, Ellenson is a very engaged rebounder. He attacks the glass on a regular basis and is an above-average shot-blocker, as evidenced by his 1.5 blocks per game.

In short, his offensive skills. Big men with natural scoring instincts are always in high demand in the NBA. And that's exactly what Ellenson's game entails - he can score in the post, he has a reliable mid-range jumper and, in time, should develop into a consistent three-point shooter.

He also has good mobility and athleticism and runs the floor extremely well for a big man. And at 9.7 rebounds per game, he's demonstrated the ability to be a willing rebounder. Ellenson's intangibles are also a positive. He's a hard worker who should have no problem setting aside his own numbers for the best interests of the team.  

There are legitimate questions about Ellenson's ability to defend on the NBA level. Is he strong enough to defend post players? Is he athletic enough to guard other stretch forwards on the perimeter? These are questions that will be answered in time, but they're the primary reason Ellenson has been falling in mock drafts in recent weeks.

A big part of Ellenson's offensive game is the ability to shoot from the perimeter. However, he wasn't all that efficient in that department during his lone college season. Ellenson shot a shade under 29 percent from three-point range last season, connecting on just 30 of his 104 attempts.  

How he'd fit with the Sixers
Not particularly well. With the much-anticipated return of Joel Embiid and the expected arrival of Dario Saric, the Sixers have a logjam in their frontcourt. Add Embiid and Saric to Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and likely No. 1 pick Ben Simmons, and the Sixers will have five forwards 6-foot-10 or taller in their rotation.

Ellenson would give the Sixers some much-needed offense, but he plays a position that clearly isn't an area of need right now. Ellenson certainly isn't an option with the No. 1 pick, and he won't still be on the board when the Sixers are making the 24th pick. It's an extreme long shot that Ellenson will be wearing a Sixers uniform next year.

NBA comparison
Ellenson has a lot of Kevin Love in his game, from his strengths on the offensive end to his defensive deficiencies. Like Love, Ellenson is a big man who can score in a variety of ways. Both players are very good rebounders. But also like Love, Ellenson has significant work to do defensively.

Draft projection
Ellenson will be a mid to low-end lottery pick, with a chance he could fall out of the lottery altogether. But I'd be surprised if he slips past the Bulls at No. 14.

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