The Toronto Raptors confirmed the release of center Alex Len on Tuesday. He averaged only 2.3 points and 1.6 rebounds and was never able to get into a rhythm with his new club before missing the last three games, first for personal reasons, then due to the NBA's health and safety rules. The 21-year-old native of Kiev, Ukraine, was drafted 17th overall by the Bucks in the 2016 NBA draft.
Len came over from the Bucks this past summer in a trade that sent Thad Young to Milwaukee. He was expected to be a key piece in Toronto's rebuilding project but didn't live up to expectations immediately after joining the team. Prior to coming to Canada, he played for Russian powerhouse Khimki during the 2015-16 season where he averaged 14.8 points and 8.0 boards. Before moving to Russia, he spent one year at American University in Washington D.C.
He's currently under contract with Toronto for two more seasons. The Raptors have an option on his contract for next season.
Here's how many times each Raptor has been released since the start of the season: DeMarre Carroll (1), P.J. Tucker (2), Jonas Valanciunas (2). With the moves made by GM Masai Ujiri, it looks like they are trying to go in a different direction. Hopefully, the front office can find some help for their struggling team.
The Washington Wizards According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, former Toronto Raptors center Alex Len has signed to a one-year contract with the Washington Wizards. A 7'1" player from Belarus, Len was expected to compete for a starting position in 2018-19.
He will be able to work on his outside shooting and help out defensively if needed after playing only 22 games last season due to injury. He also played over 50 games during each of the previous two seasons. The Wizards were looking for some depth at center after trading Markieff Morris to the Phoenix Suns earlier this month. They also have Kelly Oubre Jr., who can play both forward positions, but is more comfortable at power forward.
In four seasons with Toronto, Len averaged 5.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He was drafted 24th overall by the Raptors in 2014.
A career-threatening knee injury suffered in March 2017 ended his season before it even started. Doctors initially believed he would need a total knee replacement but instead opted for a successful surgery to repair the damage. They discovered that parts of his ligaments were still intact and had no choice but to remove him from the game. At the time of his injury, Len was averaging 12.0 points and 7.5 boards per game.
Kevin Pritchard was appointed President of Basketball Operations just before the end of the 2016-17 season. Pritchard knew Ellis didn't fit in Indiana from his time with Larry Bird, which is why he was released. Ellis came into this league with a lot of promise but never lived up to it because of injury concerns. He's still only 28 years old so there's hope he can find a new home.
Ellis has two years left on his contract and will be paid $24 million over that period.
He's made more than $100 million during his NBA career.
Monta Ellis was once considered one of the best point guards in the NBA. In 2012-13, he led the Milwaukee Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals after being acquired by them that summer. However, he was lost to injury that year and never regained his previous form. After another disappointing season in 2013-14, Ellis was traded to the Indiana Pacers. He ended up playing only six games for the Pacers before being waived. Since then, he hasn't found a team yet signed for the 2017-18 season.