Skyrocketing: Keon Ellis
I don’t think any Kings fan had on their bingo card that Keon Ellis would be the starting point guard in game seven of the season. It was a surprise, but it was Mike Brown’s way of rewarding him for his energy and effort.
Ellis played just under 15 minutes in the second loss to the Rockets and put up 15 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist. Even though the game was already lost, he competed and made the best of his first opportunity to play real NBA minutes this season.
Davion Mitchell, on the other hand, was a complete non-factor, so Ellis took his starting spot the next time around. His stat line didn’t jump out—he recorded 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals—but he also didn’t look bad.
When you start a two-way player who has barely played so far as the main ball handler, you usually wouldn’t expect it to go all too well. Ellis, however, was composed and defended well.
Mitchell ended up playing most of crunch time alongside Malik Monk and had a really good game. So, especially when Fox is back, Ellis might not be a regular in the rotation, but this was a big game for him.
He is on his second two-way contract with the Kings right now, and this was his first big chance to show that he can be a real NBA player. He might not be a starter or main guy, but he can have an impact as a rotational piece.
If Brown continues to give him chances, he might be able to play his way into a standard NBA contract somewhere down the line.