Topic: We wonder whether the Los Angeles Lakers should keep Wayne Ellington past this season, and if so, how much they should pay to keep him in Los Angeles.
Context: This season has been a disappointing one to say the least for the Lakers. With Kobe Bryant being lost for the season with a torn rotator cuff, the focus shifted to the Lakers’ young players like Jordan Clarkson. However, it has been the play of a six-year veteran that has risen immensely since Bryant has gone down.
Wayne Ellington was signed to a non-guaranteed right before the outset of training camp. Not much was expected of the former North Carolina standout, but he has been a pleasant surprise this season.
Though his minutes have fluctuated greatly, Ellington was always ready to when his number was called. As a starter, he has averaged 13 points, four rebounds and two assists. Overall, Ellington is currently posting career-highs in points, rebounds, and field goal percentage.
The question now becomes, how has Ellington’s play this season impacted his value in free agency. Ellington is definitely a valuable player, but the Lakers have been down this road before. Last season, Jodie Meeks had a career year, but the Detroit Pistons offered him a three-year, $18 million contract and the Lakers had to let him go.
Ellington could be headed down a similar path, however, the Lakers could surely use a veteran like Ellington who has demonstrated the ability to shoot and defend at a solid level while always remaining ready to contribute despite inconsistent minutes.
The question now becomes, how much is too much to keep Ellington around in the future?
Verdict: We went to Twitter to ask the loyal Lakers Nation followers if they want the Lakers to keep Wayne Ellington around next season, and how much would they be willing to pay him? These are some of the responses:
— BallTellsHalfTruths (@EssentialShow) January 31, 2015
@TheeCoreyH at max 5 mil 2 years? If anyone wants to overpay for him thy can go ahead
— Abdul Yusuf (@aryusuf21) January 31, 2015
3 mil Max #LNDebate
— Стівен aka The Muse (@Stevooo34) January 31, 2015
@TheeCoreyH 3 years 10 mil
— LA Rams porfavor (@moreTEEGOplzz) January 31, 2015
— that guy (@thatdamnguy94) January 31, 2015
Overall, it looks as if Lakers Nation is keen on the idea of keeping Ellington around, but only at the right price. I tend to agree about keeping him around, but many of the prices listed are probably a little too high for Ellington in my opinion.
It can be very easy to overpay decent players in the NBA and the Lakers must avoid that. A two-year contract for $5 million would be a perfect deal for Ellington. It allows the Lakers to maintain their flexibility while rewarding a player who has really stepped up his game when given the opportunity.
Ellington is one of many free agents the Lakers will have to make a decision on this summer. What kind of interest he draws will play a big role in the kind of contract the Lakers offer him, if they choose to do so.[divide]
Mitch Kupchak on NBA Free Agency, Draft, Trade Deadline