After reaching the NBA Playoffs and falling to the eventual champion Cleveland Cavaliers, the Detroit Pistons enter the 2016 NBA Draft looking to add to their young talent base. President/head coach Stan Van Gundy did exactly that with the 18th pick, drafting Marquette’s Henry Ellenson.
What Henry Ellenson Brings to Detroit
One possibility is Marquette forward Henry Ellenson, who at 7-feet tall is an improved perimeter shot away from fitting the mold of the stretch forward that’s become more popular in basketball circles in recent years. Ellenson can handle the basketball, and whatever deficiencies there are defensively can be covered up for by the presence of Drummond.
Ellenson has a ways to go defensively, but his addition will help the Pistons from a spacing standpoint. In his lone season at Marquette he was the Big East’s best rookie, earning Rookie of the Year and first team all-conference honors. Ellenson averaged 17.0 points and 9.7 rebounds per game last season, shooting 44.6 percent from the field and just 28.8 percent from three.
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With the 49th pick Detroit took Syracuse guard Michael Gbinije, adding depth and versatility to the perimeter rotation. Gbinije played a lot of point guard at Syracuse and can play either on or off the ball. Gbinije averaged 17.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game as a senior, shooting 46.1 percent from the field and 39.2 percent from beyond the arc. While Gbinije has the tools to be a good defender, the adjustment from Syracuse’s zone to the pro game will be interesting to watch as he looks to earn a roster spot.