Octavius Ellis has not gotten a ton of draft buzz, but that doesn't mean NBA teams aren't kicking the tires on the former Bearcat. He reportedly got a workout with the Washington Wizards, which he confirmed by tweeting the following:
Ellis, who was a consistent double-double threat in his years with the Bearcats, was also a participant at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a noted NBA scouting paradise. He would address a need for Washington, which was a weak rebounding team during a disappointing 2015-16 season. The Wizards ranked 26th in the NBA in total rebounds (41.8 PG) and also lacked many rim-protectors, ranking at the same slot in blocks per game (3.9). During his UC career, Ellis averaged 7.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Those numbers jump to 10.9 and 2.6, respectively, when projected over 40 minutes.
With aging front court guys like Nene and Drew Gooden still eating minutes, the Wizards could certainly use a jolt of energy and tenacity in the paint. Ellis, though far from a first round option, could be a nice addition in the second round. As of now, he has not appeared on any of the litany of NBA Mock Drafts that line the annals of the internet, but its always tough to project what teams will do once the bright lights of the lottery rounds fade away.
Even if Ellis isn't drafted, there is still a path to the professional ranks, and not just the D-League or Europe. As we've seen with Sean Kilpatrick, having skills that are valuable (in Ellis' case, rebounding and defense) and a dedication to improving can carry you, even if the road is tough.
The NBA Draft will be held on June 23 in Brookyln.