With two days left before the NBA Draft, things are probably starting to click into place. Teams are finalizing their internal big boards, and the occasional player may start hearing from teams to let them know that they will absolutely get drafted in a particular spot.
It’s been a week since our last spin through the mock drafts around the internet, so let’s do one final check in to see where people think that former Marquette forward Henry Ellenson will be selected. Just like last week, we’ll let you know if there’s been any changes in the past seven days.
There are two final notes to keep in mind before we get started. First, it appears that Ellenson had just six workouts: the Toronto Raptors (#9 pick), the Los Angeles Lakers (#2 pick), the Minnesota Timberwolves (#5 pick), the Phoenix Suns (#4 and #13 picks), the Denver Nuggets (#7, #15, and #19 pick), and the Milwaukee Bucks (#10 pick). Second, Ellenson has been invited to be in the green room at the Barclays Center for the draft. He’s one of 14 players that were invited, which is actually a smaller group than normal. The green room invitees are presumably based on a survey of scouts and general managers to determine who the top prospects are, and if the NBA is reluctant to go 20 deep as per usual, then that would seem to imply that the consensus is that Ellenson is a top 15 pick.
Draft Express Mock Draft (updated 6/20): #10, to the Milwaukee Bucks
Change? Down four places
Henry Ellenson pushes down the board a bit to No. 17. Simply put, NBA teams aren't sold that he's going to guard anyone in the NBA. He might be stuck between a rock and a hard place, and Kevin Love's performance in this year's playoffs likely isn't helping matters in that regard. Not a strong enough rim protector to play as a true 5 without a rare shot-blocking 4, not quite mobile enough to play at the 4, the concerns are real. Plus, his jumper really is starting to worry teams. While it looks gorgeous and should be translatable, he's never hit outside shots at a high percentage and teams have started to wonder what his role is if he can't consistently hit that shot. I think his range is now more No. 10 to 20 than the guaranteed top-10 talent that many thought he was entering the process.
Change? Down two places
Coach Fred Holberg has always had a terrific, playmaking big man on his Iowa State teams. First, it was Royce White. Then, it was Georges Niang. Now, the Bulls can take Ellenson and see if he can recreate some of the magic with his superb basketball sense, potential to shoot the basketball, and solid passing ability out of both the low and high posts.
CBS Sports Mock Draft (Gary Parrish, updated 6/16): #9, to the Toronto Raptors
Toronto has a need at power forward, which makes Ellenson an option. The one-and-done prospect is only 19. And though he didn't shoot a good percentage from beyond the arc at Marquette, he has the tools to be a stretch-four. Combine that with his polished low-post game, and Ellenson has one of the highest ceilings in this draft.
Change? New addition to the list
Pro potential: Starter/potential All-Star
At close to 7-feet, Ellenson's game is in the mold of Dirk Nowitzki as a stretch 4 . He should eventually be a very skilled deep face up threat as his 3-point shooting numbers weren't as impressive as his shot is in person. Lateral quickness is going to be an issue as is his tenacity at times on the boards, but he can shoot, dribble and pass.
Change? Not updated
Change? Up four places
Change? Down five places
Ellenson had a standout freshman season, as Marquette's top player and will look to parlay that into being a mid-first round pick. He's a quality kid, who seems to put the team first. And while not the most demonstrative of personalities, he's young and extremely coachable. For his size, he has versatility with his ability to handle the ball in the open floor and shows face the basket and post skills. While he's a below average run/jump athlete, his 7-foot-2 wingspan gives him the length to make up for his lack of speed defensively and on the boards. He also shows solid feet with good balance and will surprise you by making plays attacking the rim, despite any real explosiveness. His shooting efficiency still needs work, but he's developed a reputation for being a quality shooter and should find a role in the league as a stretch four.
Why Boston takes Henry Ellenson: There's a good chance that Ellenson will be off the board by this pick. If not, Ellenson gives the Boston frontcourt a potential stretch four to groom for the future. Depending on what they do with their first pick, the power forward position offers a lot of value in this range with other possiblities including Brice Johnson, Deyonta Davis, and Cheick Diallo.
NBA Comparison: Troy Murphy
Sports Illustrated Mock Draft (Andrew Smart, updated 6/3): #13, to the Phoenix Suns
Change? Not updated
Ellenson's gone much higher in some of the past mock drafts, but this feels closer to where he'll end up. He's got good size and his shooting should be able stretch the floor as a four or five, but what sets him apart from someone like Dragan Bender, for instance, is his lateral movement on defense. He may struggle in switches, and he won't protect the rim right away. He probably projects as something like a poor man's Kevin Love. While that may not be a top five pick, he's worth it late in the lottery.
Change? Not updated
Ellenson measured a legit 6’11" in shoes at the combine, which was notable because it confirmed he has the size to, in theory, defend centers. The biggest questions stem from his lateral quickness defensively, and being able to stick him on a big instead of stretch forwards should help compensate. His skill set is as diverse as any in the class—he can play in transition, put it on the floor and hit an open jumper. And best case scenario, that’s more than enough to keep him out there contributing whether he cuts it defensively or not.
USA Today Mock Draft (Derek Bodner, updated 6/20): #13, to the Phoenix Suns
Concerns over Ellenson’s defensive contributions could cause him to slide a bit on draft night, but his offensive potential (17 points per game as a freshman) would be a nice get here for a Phoenix team that could use some punch in the front court.
NBA.com Mock Draft (Scott Howard-Cooper, updated 6/15): #12, to the Utah Jazz
Change? Down three places
Ellenson is a big man with mobility to handle an up-tempo system and strength to play physical, a versatility on offense in particular that would fit well as a counter to the defense of the starting center, Rudy Gobert. Utah, improving on defense, would be making gains on offense by adding Ellenson's shooting after Trey Lyles and Rodney Hood in previous drafts.
CSN Chicago Mock Draft (Mark Strotman, updated 6/16): #10, to the Milwaukee Bucks
Change? Down two places
The Greg Monroe experiment didn’t yield positive results in Year 1. And while the Bucks’ defense has all the pieces to succeed, their offense is lacking a stretch forward who can hit from deep. Ellenson struggled from the outside in his lone year at Marquette but has the skill set to mesh perfectly with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker. If the Bucks embrace small ball lineups, Ellenson would be a perfect fit.