After NBA summer league, Perry Ellis looking forward to playing in Australia
After attempting to land a spot in the NBA during the Las Vegas Summer League, former Kansas basketball standout Perry Ellis is looking ahead to his future in Australia’s National Basketball League.
Ellis signed a contract with the Sydney Kings in May, but the club allowed him to play in the summer league because of his NBA aspirations.
Following his summer league tryout and one season in the NBA’s Developmental League, Ellis hasn't received an NBA contract offer and is moving ahead with his career overseas.
Playing for the Greensboro Swarm in the D League (recently renamed the G League because of a Gatorade sponsorship deal), Ellis averaged 9.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 50 games last season.
"There's a lot of things you can't control but I want to play basketball as long as I can, and whatever path is met, that's the path I'm going,” Ellis told ESPN Australia. “Some other options were mentioned but nothing that was really eye-opening. Playing with Sydney seemed like the best option.”
In five summer league games with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Ellis averaged 11.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in 24.4 minutes per game. He shot 42 percent from the floor.
Ellis, who went undrafted in 2016, was a two-time all-Big 12 selection at Kansas, and ranks ninth on the all-time scoring list with 1,798 points.
According to ESPN Australia, Ellis is expected to arrive in Australia in September.
"I've heard a lot of good things about it, that it's a beautiful place, and I'm just grateful for the opportunity,” Ellis said. ”I feel like I hear a lot more about Australia than you used to hear, that more people are going there to play.”
Some of the top American players from Australia’s National Basketball League have turned a season overseas into NBA opportunities.
James Ennis, who spent last season with the Memphis Grizzlies, led his club to a NBL championship in 2014. Jordan McCrae spent a season in the NBL in 2014-15 before playing in 37 games with the Cavaliers last year.
Of course, there’s a much longer list of American players who didn’t reach the NBA after playing in Australia.
"My ultimate goal is to get to the NBA, but if it doesn't happen, it is what it is,” Ellis said. “You move on and continue playing, wherever that might be. That's my mindset.”