Former Kansas basketball forward Perry Ellis, who had successful sports hernia surgery Tuesday in Philadelphia, will attend preseason training camp of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets and attempt to make the team as a free agent, his agent, Mark Bartelstein, told The Star on Tuesday afternoon.
The 6-foot-8 Ellis averaged 5.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per game for the Dallas Mavericks during the NBA summer league in Las Vegas. He’s expected to miss three to four weeks of individual workouts prior to training camp following surgery.
“It’s a really good fit. They like him a lot. They’ve talked about him all summer,” Bartelstein said of the Hornets. “We think it’s got a chance to be a really good opportunity for him. Coaches there are excited to have him. He has to get himself healthy here the next couple weeks. Then he’ll go into camp and compete.”
Ellis, who averaged a team-leading 16.9 points for 33-5 KU last season, does not have a guaranteed contract.
“That’s what he’s going for, to compete and try to earn a spot. There’s no doubt in my mind he’s an NBA player. No question about that,” said Bartelstein, of Priority Sports and Entertainment. “I think he’s going to have a long and successful career in the NBA.”
Charlotte was not the only team to inquire about Ellis.
“There were a number of teams interested,” Bartelstein said. “They (Hornets) showed a lot of interest. Obviously you can only pick one. You’ve got to weigh everything. We looked at the coaching staff and the way they want to play and what they are looking for. We think he’s a really good fit for them.
“There were a lot of people overseas that called about him. His heart right now is set in the NBA,” Bartelstein added.
As far as the surgery … “No operation is really minor, but it went great. It’s a very fast recovery,” Bartelstein said. “He should be back good to go in three to four weeks.”