Alabama basketball's Keon Ellis lands with Sacramento, Jaden Shackelford with OKC | Reports
Alabama basketball's Keon Ellis and Jaden Shackelford were not selected in the 2022 NBA draft, but their next destinations appears to be set.
Ellis has agreed to a two-way contract with the Sacramento Kings, according to NBA insider Shams Charania. Ellis was considered one of the top undrafted options available. Shackelford is headed to Oklahoma City as he agreed to an unspecified deal, per his agency on Instagram.
Their teammate, JD Davison, was the only Alabama player selected. The Boston Celtics took him with the No. 53 pick.
Ellis, a native of Eustis, Florida, began his college career at Florida Southwestern State College before playing his final two seasons for coach Nate Oats at Alabama.
As a senior in 2021-22, Ellis was the only Crimson Tide player to start all 33 games. He led Alabama in plus-minus at plus-87.
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Good defense is at the foundation of Ellis' game.
He earned a spot on the All-SEC defensive team in 2021-22 as an excellent two-way player. Ellis, at 6-foot-4 and 167 pounds, showed an ability to keep up with a variety of players. He led the team in steals with 64; no one else had more than 32. His 19 blocks were also third on the team.
Offensively, he saw a jump in production from his junior year with a more prominent role. He averaged 12.1 points and a team-high 6.1 rebounds.
When he chooses to shoot, Ellis can be quite effective. He led Alabama with a 36.6% 3-point shooting percentage.
Shackelford, a native of Hesperia, California, was a second-team all-conference selection. He played in all 33 games, starting 32 of them. He attempted no shortage of shots from beyond the arc, as he led the SEC in 3-pointers made per game (3.1) and attempts (288).
Shackelford also led Alabama in scoring each of the past two seasons. This season, he averaged 16.6 points per game. The guard also averaged 5.4 rebounds to go with 48 assists, 28 steals and six blocks.
Nick Kelly covers Alabama football and men's basketball for The Tuscaloosa News, part of the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly