Wayne Ellington has been in the league since 2009, with stops in Minnesota, Memphis, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and Miami. Where will he play next?
He is a well-traveled but often forgotten man; a drifter with a carpenter’s tool belt. With the right team, he could make all the difference in the world. With the wrong team, not so much. Either way, the pay is likely the same.
Picked in the late first round and after his college teammates Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington also took longer to matter in the NBA than No. 46 pick Danny Green, whose grit and determination carved out an identity in San Antonio. When the four played together in Chapel Hill and won a national title for the University of North Carolina, all anyone had to say about Ellington was how well he could shoot the ball. Now, almost a decade later, all anyone really has to say about Ellington is about how well he can shoot the ball. In fact, he just set a regular season record for 3-pointers made by a reserve. His career hasn’t so much been a long con, but a dedication to craft.
Improvements to the original vessel have been made. His conditioning is better. He may be a tad stronger than his younger self, maybe even quicker. He may be aging in reverse, but he’s mostly a shooter in a catch-and-shoot league. He was paid roughly $6 million the past couple seasons. He could make as much as $10 million in the near future, the figure could also be less, depending on where he signs.
The Miami Heat would like to keep him, but other teams will call. Like money in the bank, his improvement promises interest.