Even with missing out on Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum and Greg Oden in NBA Free Agency this summer, the Dallas Mavericks have been able to add quite a few talented players this summer, for better or worse. Never mind how you feel about Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, and DeJuan Blair, it’s hard to deny these are solid players to have on your roster.
However, one of the most overlooked signings by the Mavs this season might be the signing of shooting guard Wayne Ellington. Towards the end of July the Mavs and the four-year guard agreed to a reasonable two-year, $5 million contract, adding Ellington to a lengthy list of guards on the Mavericks’ roster.
Ellington split time between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Cleveland Cavaliers last season, largely coming off of the bench for both teams, though he did see a few starts for the Cavs. In 78 combined games last season, he averaged 7.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game while shooting 42.7 percent from the floor and a solid 39.2 percent from three.
Overall last season, Ellington averaged just under one point per possession, making him one of the more effective offensive players in the league in that regard. While with Cleveland, he was unbelievably effective in spot-up opportunities, averaging 1.29 points per possession, which would have made him the 12th best spot-up shooter in those terms had that lasted over the entire season.
Coming out of college, Ellington was labeled as a dead-eye shooter from long-range. Though he’s shot 38.2 percent from three over his four seasons in the NBA, there are far less people championing him than there once were. As he heads to Dallas, though, he could definitely find some minutes.
As I said, the Mavs backcourt is crowded with Ellis, Devin Harris and Vince Carter all likely to see time at the two-guard. However, if Ellington can come in and continue to be a proficient outside shooter and threat from beyond-the-arc, he could work his way into some minutes, particularly if one of those three guys were to go down with injury. Not many people are talking about it, but the Ellington signing could be an incredibly helpful one in Dallas.
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