There isn’t an NBA team more familiar with Henry Ellenson than the Milwaukee Bucks.
Ellenson played one season at Marquette University in Milwaukee and the Golden Eagles played their home games at the Bradley Center, the same facility in which the Bucks do.
But the Bucks apparently want to know even more about Ellenson before the June 23 draft, and that’s why team officials have arranged to meet with the 6-foot-11 power forward-center on Tuesday.
The Bucks have the 10th overall pick, and it’s doubtful Ellenson will slip to them. Ellenson has already worked out for a spate of teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, who have the second overall pick, the Phoenix Suns, who have the fourth pick, and the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have the fifth pick.
An official of one of those aforementioned teams, when asked how Ellenson performed in the team’s workout, said, “Very well.’’ Also, an assistant general manager said Ellenson’s stock is “going up.’’
Ellenson is an outstanding offensive prospect. He is an excellent shooter who feels comfortable on the perimeter and his ballhandling skills are exceptional for a big man.
In his one season at Marquette, Ellenson compiled some gaudy numbers. He averaged17 points and 9.7 rebounds while shooting 45 percent from the field and 29 percent from 3-point range.
Those numbers are similar to the ones Carmelo Anthony posted as a freshman during the 2002-2003 season at Syracuse: 22 points, 10 rebounds, 45 percent from the field and 34 percent from 3-point range.
Interestingly, Anthony is Ellenson’s favorite player. Ellenson said he’s taken parts of Anthony’s game – like his face-up moves and jab steps – and tried to incorporate them into his game.
“I love his game,’’ Ellenson said of Anthony.
While Ellenson has a skill-set that would “fit in with a lot of systems,’’ as one Eastern Conference player personal director said, there are some NBA officials who believe Ellenson could end up with the Timberwolves.
“I like the Marquette kid,’’ a general manager said. “He’s big, he’s mobile, he’s skilled, he can shoot. I like him a lot. I think he’d fit in perfectly with Minnesota with (Karl-Anthony) Towns and (Andrew) Wiggins. That would be a hell of a front line.’’
Added an assistant general: “He’d complement Towns really well. Towns could play inside and Ellenson outside, or Ellenson inside and Towns outside. They’d be a great tandem.’’
- Derrick Jones, a freakishly athletic small forward from Nevada-Las Vegas, is expected to work out for the Bucks Tuesday. The high-flying Jones averaged 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds and shot 59 percent from the field as a freshman last season.
- The Bucks still haven’t officially replaced assistant coach Josh Oppenheimer, who was let go several weeks ago. Oppenheimer, who had served as a player development coach, had also worked for former Bucks coach Larry Drew before he was replaced by Jason Kidd two summers ago.