The New York Knicks will welcome Henry Ellenson into the fold for the rest of the season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Once roster spots cleared after the trade deadline, the New York Knicks found flexibility to give players opportunities. Plenty was available amid a season that featured an 18-game losing streak and continuous lineup changes.
Players were brought to the roster for this, as well, including John Jenkins, who signed a 10-day contract and turned it into a two-year agreement. Henry Ellenson also joined on a 10-day deal, set to expire over the weekend.
Well, the 22 year old apparently made enough of an impression to stick in New York. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks will sign him for the rest of the season. The deal includes a team option for 2019-20, à la what Jenkins received.
Ellenson impressed Tuesday night with 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists in a team-high 36 minutes against the Orlando Magic, winning 108-103. He played just three minutes in his Knicks debut Sunday.
Before that, Ellenson made just two appearances for the Detroit Pistons in 2018-19, before hitting waivers in early February. They selected him 18th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.
The Marquette product now has the chance to regain stock that disappeared amid the “bust” label attached to him after two-plus unremarkable seasons. He received few opportunities in Detroit, but never made the most of them, including just 36.2 percent shooting from 2016-18 in 8.3 minutes per game.
This Knicks team offers the ultimate chance for him to shine. Most of this roster is in question for 2018-19, as only a handful of players have guaranteed contracts for 2019-20. Plus, a handful of frontcourt talents have floundered recently, with Mario Hezonja and Noah Vonleh as the notable names. Lance Thomas also receives inconsistent playing time.
Ellenson could take playing time from any of them, even if their roles are fluctuating. He’s the fresh, intriguing presence for David Fizdale to use and see what the Knicks have. Hezonja, Vonleh and Thomas are known commodities at this point, so if any potential exists in the third-year man, this is the time to discover it.
Ellenson will continue his Knicks career Thursday, with New York’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. They have won two consecutive games and three of their last four.