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REPORT: Knicks to sign Henry Ellenson for the rest of the season

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Woj said so, thus it must be true

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at New York Knicks
Ellenson waves his arms in the air, perhaps to play defense, but maybe to celebrate his new deal.
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Henry Ellenson has apparently played his way into the hearts of Scott Perry and Steve Mills rather quickly, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Knicks intend to sign the 22-year-old power forward for the rest of the season once his 10-day contract expires this weekend.

Ellenson, who’s listed at 6’11” and 245 pounds, will receive a contract with a team option for the 2019-20 campaign, according to Woj, whose powers seem to grow stronger with each passing day.

Bobby Marks, a former executive with the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets who is now a “Front Office Insider” for ESPN, gave the Knicks props for the move, which is definitely not a bad thing.

Speaking of coincidences, is it a coincidence that Ellenson’s arrival coincided with a two-game win streak for the Knicks that represented only the second time this season the team had strung together two or more victories in a row? That’s for history to decide. What we do know is that after playing only three and a half minutes in his first game with the Knicks, Ellenson earned his way onto the roster for the rest of the year because of back-to-back impressive showings.

Against the Orlando Magic on Tuesday, he played a career-high 36 minutes and posted 13 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals en route to a 108-103 victory. He shot 5-11 overall from the floor, including 3-6 from three.

His huge three pointer in the closing minutes to put the Knicks up by four elicited a “Bang!” from Mike Breen, and was immortalized on the NBA’s official Twitter account.

“Fantastic minutes,” Fizdale said after the game, according to the New York Post. “I didn’t think I’d play him 36 minutes, but he played so well.”

On Thursday, in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Ellenson played 26 and a half minutes and put up 13 points, 5 rebounds and 1 steal. He was 4-10 from the field overall and 3-5 from three.

Ellenson has displayed a solid shooting stroke, especially considering his size, and if he can continue to hit 50 percent of his threes, which is what he’s done since joining the Knicks, he’ll end up as the best three point shooter in NBA history.

Selected 18th overall by the Detroit Pistons in 2016, Ellenson played in 59 games as a member of the team in Motor City over the past three seasons. He averaged 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds while shooting 36 percent from the field and 32 percent from beyond the arc for Detroit. He was awesome in the G-League, which is a place the Knicks seem to have plenty of eyes focused on at all times. In eight games for the Grand Rapids Drive this year, Ellenson posted 19.1 points and 11.8 rebounds while shooting 40 percent from the field and 33 percent from three, as detailed by P&T’s own Alex Wolfe, who did a fine job laying out Ellenson’s backstory in a post from when the Knicks first inked him to a 10-day contract last month.

Fun fact: Ellenson’s favorite player growing up was Carmelo Anthony, who was on the Knicks until fairly recently and currently doesn’t have a team. Is anyone going to sign Melo? Is LeBron James ignoring Melo’s texts? Are there any horse socks? Is anybody listening to me?

It’s pretty wild to consider the amount of roster turnover that has taken place since James Dolan gave Phil Jackson the pink slip less than two years ago. Jackson drafted Frank Ntilikina and Damyean Dotson, and is the one who originally signed Luke Kornet. Lance Thomas has been here since Jackson traded Melo. Other than that, it’s all fresh faces, the freshest of which is Ellenson.

The young, ex-Marquette basketballer will now try to play his way into getting that option picked up for next season, and while we hope he contributes to some victories, we’re also praying the Knicks don’t play their way out of being one of the three worst teams in the NBA. Need that 14 percent chance at the first overall pick.