We're now 16 days away from the 2016 NBA Draft. It would appear that everyone is pretty comfortable saying that Henry Ellenson will be a first round draft pick, but the question is where will he go?
That's why we're going to check in with various mock drafts and big boards around the interwebs and see where things stand on this Tuesday. Some have been updated more recently than others, but it's still a picture of where Ellenson stands with people who get paid the big bucks to think about these things.
One last note before we dig in: As far as I can tell, Ellenson has had only two workouts; one for the Toronto Raptors (#9 pick), and the other for the Los Angeles Lakers (#2 pick). Update [3:30pm]: it appears he's also worked out for the Minnesota Timberwolves (#5 pick), and Ellenson is in Arizona today to work out for the Phoenix Suns, who have the #4 and #13 picks.)
Ellenson is the best player available here for the Bucks, who would likely love to try to move up for Kris Dunn but also probably would not want to reach for a point guard here either. If you buy Ellenson as being a potential stretch-five, this fit makes a lot of sense for the Bucks. There's also the fact that the Bucks have likely seen a ton of Ellenson, given that he plays right down the street at Marquette. It's a fit that works.
CBS Sports Mock Draft (Gary Parrish, updated 6/3): #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.
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 Orlando takes Henry Ellenson: If Orlando believes in Ellenson's potential, he would provide a solid complement to Aaron Gordon with his face up skills. Ellenson is well liked by scouts for his ability to hit shots and potential, considering his size and skill level. He may struggle initially with the speed of the NBA game, particularly on the defensive end, but the hope is that he will continue to gain speed and athleticism as his body matures.
NBA Comparison: Troy Murphy
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.
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 6/6): #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 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 5/18): #9, to the Toronto Raptors
Having a lottery pick, thanks to a trade with the Knicks, while playing in a conference final is house money. The Raptors have a veteran roster that would allow Skal Labissiere or Timothe Luwawu to develop mostly behind the scenes, and general manager Masai Ujiri is a risk taker in a way that could push him to Labissiere. But Ellenson is a big man who has the mobility to handle an up-tempo system as well as the strength to play physical. That makes for the potential a very good draft follow up for the state of Wisconsin a year after Frank Kaminsky went ninth and Sam Dekker went 18th.
(Editor's note: If you want to email Scott Howard-Cooper about that Wisconsin thing, that's up to you. I will point out that Kaminsky's not actually from Wisconsin.)
Bleacher Report Mock Draft (Ryan McCrystal, updated 6/6): #10, to the Milwaukee Bucks
Bleacher Report Mock Draft (Jonathan Wasserman, updated 6/4): #9, to the Toronto Raptors
Henry Ellenson could be the most skilled power forward in this draft. He'd be higher on boards if he packed a little more explosiveness, but Ellenson's inside-out game looks tailor-made for today's stretch 4 position.
The Toronto Raptors could ultimately use a versatile scorer between DeMarre Carroll and Jonas Valanciunas. Good thing Ellenson—6'11 ½", 242 pounds, 7'2 ¼" wingspan—hit 30 threes and shot 42.7 percent on two-point jumpers, per Hoop-Math.com, while averaging 17.0 points and 9.7 rebounds his freshman year.
A promising shooter with face-up skills, post moves and the willingness to throw his body around under the boards, Ellenson justifies top-10 consideration in 2016. He may even be undervalued heading into June.
DeMarcus Cousins added a 3-pointer to his arsenal this past season, making more triples (70) than he attempted in his first five seasons combined (69). But he hit on just 33 percent of his 210 attempts, and his value as the league’s most dominant post scorer took a hit at times because of it. Enter Ellenson, a power forward with range to score from anywhere on the floor to complement both Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein, the Kings’ first round pick a year ago.