After being away for six years, Wayne Ellington made his return to the Los Angeles Lakers after signing a one-year deal in free agency this summer.
When the Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster deal, it was clear the team was going to need more shooting and Ellington fit the bill perfectly. Ellington was a marksman during the 2020-21 season, nailing over 42 percent from deep on six attempts a game.
The veteran guard now joins a Los Angeles roster that looks to compete for the 2022 NBA Championship and is currently considered a co-favorite to win it all. The Lakers’ biggest obstacle to banner No. 18 lies in the Eastern Conference as the Brooklyn Nets are able to match them in regards to star talent and veteran depth.
Because of his superior shooting ability, Ellington could have found a spot on any contender and in an appearance on the “Noble & Roosh Show”, he revealed he considered signing with the Nets:
“There was some teams I looked at. Brooklyn was one. Brooklyn was one. But LA was just, it was too good of a situation for me. Obviously, Brooklyn already has some shooters that do some similar things like I do in Joe Harris and a couple of other guys as well that they have. It was an easy decision for me.”
Brooklyn has the luxury of three superstars who can all shoot and create their own shots, so Ellington would have thrived playing next to them. However, Los Angeles has an obvious need for a shooter like Ellington given Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis like to attach the painted area, so his path to minutes is clearer.
The other thing working in L.A.’s favor is Ellington’s familiarity with the franchise and he himself admitted that he did not need much convincing from vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka. Securing Ellington was a major win for the Lakers in free agency and he should be a valuable contributor throughout the season.
Ellington believes he will receive best looks of career
Anyone playing next to James, Davis and Westbrook will surely get their fair share of open looks because of how relentless the three stars are attacking the rim. Defenses will have no choice but to try and clog the paint, which means people like Ellington should receive the best looks of their career.
“Obviously, like I said, with the type of attack game and type of ability a lot of the guys in obviously Russ and LeBron [James], AD and the attention those guys demand. The way they get into that paint and the way teams have to guard those guys, my 3-point shooting is going to be a premium, so I look forward to being able to complement those guys. I feel like I’m going to get some of the best looks out of not only my NBA career but in my life this coming season.”
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