Toronto Raptors sign Rice Lake native Ellenson to 10-day contract


Mar. 10—The Toronto Raptors have signed Rice Lake native Henry Ellenson to a 10-day contract.

The Raptors announced the deal Wednesday. Financial details were not disclosed.

Ellenson, a 6-foot-10 forward, had been playing in the G League with Raptors 905 this season. He was averaging 21.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game and helped Raptors 905 reach the semifinals of the G League playoffs, scoring 35 points in a quarterfinal win.

The former Rice Lake and Marquette star’s last stint with an NBA team was in the 2019-20 season, when he played five games with the Brooklyn Nets. He was on a two-way deal with the team and played just three minutes per game before being waived.

Ellenson was a first round draft pick for Detroit in 2016. He has played for the Pistons, Knicks and Nets, never carving out a starting role.

Since being waived by the Nets, the 24-year-old has made strides in the G League. He averaged 21.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per contest when he joined Raptors 905 last season, and has maintained that success this year in his new home. Consistency has played no small role in that.

“I think as a basketball player, getting opportunities just to play and knowing that you’re going to play is huge,” Ellenson said recently on The Rapcast, a podcast from Raptors Republic. “It really makes you feel good about your game. You know that you have a chance to always bounce back.”

Ellenson had some memorable moments this year in the G League bubble, which featured 18 teams competing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida. He drained a game-winning midrange bucket through contact with one second remaining on the clock to lift Raptors 905 to a 119-117 win against the Memphis Hustle on Feb. 22. That capped off a 27-point, 11-rebound performance for the former Warrior.

“I’m so happy for Henry,” Raptors 905 coach Patrick Mutombo said following the Hustle win. “I think he had some rough moments during the game but the one thing about Henry is you know he’s going to give you his heart. Henry being Henry, you know he’s going to bounce back. He’s a guy that we can trust when the game is on the line. He proved it.”

Ellenson scored at least 20 points in seven of the 15 regular season games he played in the bubble and had five double-doubles. His 35 points in Raptors 905’s playoff debut came against the G League Ignite, a team primarily made up of top NBA draft prospects.

The three-time All-Northwest player of the year will aim to make the most of his return to the sport’s highest level. He’s back in the NBA with a broader perspective.

“I’ve just been having fun playing again, especially now in my fifth year,” Ellenson said on The Rapcast. “First couple years as a professional, I didn’t play so much. So now having the chance to show people what I can do on the court, it’s everything.”