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Some NBA GMs see Pistons’ Ellenson as steal of draft

The Detroit News

Some NBA general managers say the Pistons grabbing Marquette’s Henry Ellenson with the No. 18 pick was the steal of the NBA draft.

NBA GMs responded to 48 questions from about teams, players, coaches and more. They were not permitted to vote for their own teams.

Ellenson was named on 10 percent of the ballots in response to this question: Which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the draft?

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said on Tuesday he hadn’t seen the results of the survey, but added, “Nobody steals anything in a draft.”

He added: “You take the best guy on the board, but we're very fortunate to have (Ellenson), I know that. It would be a major failure on my part if that kid is not a good player. He's not only got the size, skills and talent, but he's got the approach and makeup, so it's not like you're telling him things and he's ignoring them.”

Dejounte Murray (drafted 29th by San Antonio) was first at 23.3 percent, Kris Dunn (fifth by Minnesota) was second at 16.7 percent and Patrick McCaw (38th by Golden State) was third at 13.3 percent.

Other notable questions and results from the survey:

* If you were starting a franchise today and could sign any player in the NBA, who would it be? Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns received 48.3 percent of the vote. Golden State’s Kevin Durant (20.7 percent) was second and Cleveland’s LeBron James (17.2 percent) was third.

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* Which player forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments? James (75 percent).

* Which rookie will be the best player in five years? Ben Simmons, Philadelphia (70 percent).

* Who is the best defensive player in the NBA? Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio (66.7 percent).

* Which team is the most fun to watch? Golden State (93.3 percent).

* Which player has the best basketball IQ? James (65.5 percent).