Lakers News: Wayne Ellington Embracing Competition For Starting Shooting Guard Role
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Which two players will surround Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook in the Los Angeles Lakers starting lineup is currently unclear. Head coach Frank Vogel recently has said that the decision has yet to be finalized, but one name that has emerged as a real possibility is Wayne Ellington.

The Lakers brought in a number of shooters this offseason, but Ellington is arguably the best of them all. He shot 42.2% from 3-point range on six attempts per game last season and has shot below 35% just once in his 12-year career. With the looks sure to be created from Westbrook and James, a shooter of Ellington’s caliber makes a ton of sense in the starting lineup.

But he will be facing a lot of competition for that spot with the likes of Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, Malik Monk and Kent Bazemore all vying as well. But Ellington enjoys that competition on the Lakers and believes he is the ideal complement to the Lakers’ stars.

“It’s great. It’s great that that kind of competition is there,” Ellington said at Lakers Media Day. “When you look at who’s inked in for starting spots you think about what those guys need to complement them, I feel like I’m one of those players that can definitely help. I think I create space, I create gravity on the floor. I know how to move without the ball. I’m a catch-and-shoot guy. I feel like what I bring to the table definitely complements it, but at the end of the day, I’m here to help win a championship.

“Whatever Coach Vogel and the guys feel like is the best person out there to complement those guys, that’s what it’s going to be. I’ll be here and I’ll be ready to do my job no matter what.”

As for what his job is on this team, Ellington knows his clearly defined role. “To be myself, to be who I am. A shooter,” Ellington added. “Obviously, spread the floor. Create space. Knock-down shots. Defend on the other end. As a veteran, help lead. From there, do whatever is asked of me. Whatever Coach (Vogel) needs me to do, whatever my teammates need me to do. It’s all about winning games.”

Ellington is without a doubt an elite shooter and a player who perfectly complements the Lakers’ stars. But competition is what this Lakers’ team is about and Ellington is facing a lot of it, with Horton-Tucker, in particular, seeming to be the other player in serious contention for that role.

Whatever Vogel decides for the starting lineup, Ellington is sure to be a part of the rotation and he’ll be locked and loaded to knock down all of those open threes the Lakers’ stars are sure to create.

Lakers potential starting lineup features Anthony Davis at center

While Vogel won’t commit to any lineup just yet, there are some rumblings about what the Lakers starters will be once the season begins. One lineup being floated as a possibility features Davis at center with Ellington and Ariza being the two players around Davis, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook.

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