The Detroit Pistons used the 18th pick of Thursday’s NBA draft on Marquette power forward Henry Ellenson

Ellenson, 19, is a 6-foot-10, 240-pounder. The Pistons aren’t expecting the prospect to contribute immediately.

Most mock drafts had Ellenson going higher, but a player they targeted early in the process was available.

He is an outside shooting threat with a polished offensive game, and can also put it on the deck to get to the rim.

He is a solid rebounder and can take defensive rebounds and go coast-to-coast.

The knock?

He is a bit slow-footed and is considered a defensive liability.

But the Pistons can afford to wait on Ellenson to become a contributor.

With the top seven players returning and with a goal of addressing roster holes in free agency, the Pistons went into the draft with a best-player-available mantra.

“One of the things we said in sort of framing what we want to do in the draft was that position wouldn’t have any bearing,” Van Gundy said earlier this week. “We’re simply looking for the guy that we think has got the chance to be the best player inside of that rookie contract. You hope a guy becomes (part of) your core and you go beyond, but you have those guys for up to four years and possibly a fifth as a restricted (free agent).

“You want a guy who’s going to contribute to your team in that time and that’s all we’re looking at. We think we’ve got a pretty young core. Our team is balanced so we could really use help just about anywhere and so position will not be a factor in where we pick.”


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