The Pistons will not exercise Henry Ellenson ‘s rookie scale option for the 2019/20 season in advance of Wednesday’s deadline, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link ). By turning down that option, Detroit will put Ellenson on a path to unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2019.
Ellenson, 21, has appeared in just 58 games during his two-plus seasons in Detroit since being selected 18th overall in the 2016 draft. He has averaged 3.8 PPG and 2.2 RPG in those 58 games, with an underwhelming .363 FG% in 8.3 minutes per contest.
With Anthony Tolliver no longer a Piston, Ellenson was considered a candidate to earn some playing time in the frontcourt behind Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond this season, but that hasn’t happened so far. Zaza Pachulia has handled most of the backup minutes at center, while smaller forwards like Stanley Johnson and Glenn Robinson III have seen some time at the four. Ellenson has appeared in just one game.
Ellenson’s option for 2019/20 would have been worth $2,856,804. Now, the Pistons will be prohibited from offering a starting salary worth more than that amount if they change course and want to bring him back next season.
The Pistons will also have a decision to make on Luke Kennard before Wednesday — his third-year option for 2019/20 looks like a safe bet to be exercised.